Since the emergence of Ifeanyi Ubah as the undisputed Chairman of the Anambra State Football Association twice, the body language of the NFF has been funny if not absurd so it is necessary that we take a closer look and see if the NFF has a point after all or they are simply dancing naked in the market square
It was in line with this shameful development that the Minister for Sports, in reaction to a letter by Sen Dr Ifeanyi Ubah, the Anambra State FA Chairman, called for an intervention meeting with NFF and Anambra State Government in attendance with emphasis on the inconsistencies and questionable interference of the NFF in the dealings of the Anambra State FA
Before we proceed, it is vital that we take note of some key laws as enacted by the NFF Statutes of 2010, which is also assimilated down to the State Football Associations and Local Football Councils in Nigeria
- Article 1 section 1 of the NFF statutes “The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), is a private organization of an associative nature in compliance with the laws of Nigeria” … This simply means that just like the NFF, the Anambra State Football Association is a private organization also in compliance with the laws of Anambra State and Nigeria. Thus, it is immune to and doesn’t recognize Government interference. This is why the Anambra State Government, lacks the powers to dictate when, how, and where elections can hold in the Association as it tried to do a few days ago.
2. Article 2 section Estates “to respect and prevent any infringement of the statutes, regulations, directives, and decisions of FIFA, CAF, WAFU, and NFF as well as the Laws of the Game and to ensure that these are also respected by its members”… The NFF is guilty of breaching this law by blatantly refusing to acknowledge the duly elected Chairman of Anambra State Football Association as voted by the Anambra State Football Congress, Sen Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah not once but twice
- Article 3 states:
“1. NFF is neutral in matters of politics and religion
- Discrimination of any kind against a country, private person or group of people on account of ethnic origin, gender, language, religion, POLITICS, or any other reason is strictly prohibited and punishable by SUSPENSION or EXPULSION” … Again the NFF is guilty of breaking this law because it is public knowledge that Sen Ifeanyi Ubah and the present administration of Anambra State are not just rivals but belong to different political inclinations and thus, the NFF through Gusau, has no right to take the side of the government as his proclamations not only supports the government but edifies the interference of the State government in Anambra State Football. Gusau’s actions and the body language of the NFF presently, can be expressly interpreted as pure discrimination against the Anambra State Association Chairman, Sen Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, and thus, Gusau and his cohorts should be expelled from the NFF and banned from all footballing activities as stipulated in the law
- Article 9 section 1 reads “The General Assembly shall decide whether to admit, suspend or expel a member” as supported by Article 14 .. The Anambra State Football Congress, appointed Emeka Ralph as its Acting Secretary when Onyedika Chijioke went AWOL during the election period only to resurface on the kangaroo nomination list, showing that he played an active part in sabotaging the success and smooth transition of the Anambra State FA elections
5. Article 10 section 1 states “The members of NFF are: (a) State Football Associations including the FCT… while Article 36 section 3 states “Any member of the Executive Committee must withdraw from the debate if there is any risk or possibility of conflict on interests with a member of NFF” … By the pronouncement circulated this morning and accredited to the NFF executive committee, it is clear that those involved have violated the above statutes as they have actively involved themselves in a debate against the clear wish of the Anambra State Football Association, which empowered by the Anambra State Congress, have elected Ifeanyi Ubah as the undisputed Chairman. By the above law, the publication is null and void
- Article 18 section 2 states “The affiliated State Football Associations, Clubs, Leagues, and Groups of NFF shall take all decisions on any matters regarding their membership independently of any external body. This obligation applies regardless of their corporate structure”… The Anambra State Football Congress had never at any instance, called on the National Body to assist it with the decision making of any kind rather, it had gone about its legitimate business of ensuring a smooth transition of tenures and arrived at a very conclusive and peaceful resolution whereby more than 90% of the Congress adopted Ifeanyi Ubah as the Chairman. This means that the NFF which is an external body in this matter, is of little consequence and thus, its opinion is just for academic purposes as it has no bearing whatsoever on the final decision of the Anambra State Football Congress
- Article 23 section A states “The General Assembly has the authority to adopt or amend the statutes, regulations governing the application of the statutes and standing orders of the General Assembly” also Article 30 article 4 states “A proposal for an amendment to the statutes shall be adopted only if three-quarters of the members present and eligible to vote agree to it”…. This gives the Anambra State Football Congress the power to amend the Anambra State Football statutes, authorizing the electoral committee to run the virtual elections
- Article 24 section 1 states “Decisions taken by the General Assembly shall only be valid if the absolute majority (50% + 1) of the members who are entitled to vote are represented”.. More than 90% of the Congress consented to the amendment of the statutes as well as the appointment of Emeka Ralph as the Acting Secretary of the Association
- Article 25 section 2 reads “A decision that requires a vote shall be reached by show of hands or by means of an electronic count….” On this premise, the Anambra State Football Congress has the right to approve the use of a virtual system in the conducting of the elections that produced Sen Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah as the Chairman of the Anambra State Football Association
- Article 26 section 4 states “The elections shall be conducted in accordance and compliance with Electoral Code of the NFF as directed by FIFA” … Failure of the NFF to state any default in the process of elections itself, is a testament to the fact that the elections were held in full compliance with the NFF and FIFA statutes
From the above, it is clear that the NFF is flagrantly breaking multiple laws which it should be protecting and clearly shows that no wrongdoing or shortcuts were employed by either the Anambra State Football Congress and Electoral Committee before, during, and after the elections that produced Sen Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah as the undisputed Chairman of the Anambra State Football Association not once but twice!
The NFF goofed over its defense on the Caretaker Committee as Gusau (the NFF representative at the meeting) couldn’t point out the laws that enable the NFF to contravene itself as the same NFF in 2019, clearly reiterated that Caretaker Committees are illegal in Nigeria Football
The Anambra State Government representative, Tony Oli who engaged in impersonating the non-existent Commissioner for Sports in the State, stated that the Anambra State NCDC is superior to the National NCDC and thus, the National stance on Covid-19 protocols, are of no relevance or bearing in Anambra State unless endorsed by the State NCDC
Sen Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah presented a 169-page detailed dossier, enumerating the authenticity of his election as well as the illegality of the NFF actions, which is clearly politically motivated and has nothing to do with football. The dossier also exposed the threats of the Anambra State Government to the Electoral Committee during the election period, proving blatant Government interference and obvious connivance with the NFF in the issue. The dossier is fully equipped with pictures, signed letters, and other documents relating to the elections before, during, and after
The Honourable Minister, who was mightily impressed by the preparedness and factual stance of Sen Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah especially with the presentation of the 169-page dossier, promised to make the position of the Ministry has known tomorrow, stating that it will be just and go a long way in resolving the brouhaha
I hereby call on the Honourable Minister for Sports, Hon Sunday Dare, to quickly arrest this situation and not allow these persons ruin the good works and achievements he has accomplished thus far including his integrity and reputation
In the light of this development, NFF President Amaju Pinnick risks failing integrity tests in the forthcoming CAF elections
Long live Nigeria Football!