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NFF Elections: Shun Sentiment, Vote Competent Candidate For President, Lulu Urges Delegates

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Joel Ajayi
As the September 30 date for Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board elections draw nearer, former president of the Federation, Alhaji Abdullahi Sani Lulu, has appealed to the voting delegates to resist the temptation of voting along religion and regional lines, and elect the right person that has the experience and capacity to turn around the dwindling fortune of Nigeria’s football. 


He said Nigeria’s football had witnessed turbulent moments recently and needed someone that is versatile in football politics and administration across the African continent and beyond to restore the glory of the round leather game in the country, and not a regional leader.

Sani Lulu whose tenure as the NFF President witnessed an unprecedented development of grassroots football in the country with the introduction of the U13 and U15 at the national level which brought players like Kelechi Iheanacho and others to national limelight and qualified Nigeria for all FIFA organized competitions, with Brazil being the only other country with such a record, asked the delegates to vote Chief Amanze Uchegbulam who was his 1st vice president as the next president of NFF, saying he will return Nigeria back to the top 10 of global football ranking. 

“Our football has witnessed ups and downs and what we need right now is someone with an in-depth knowledge of football politics and administration across the African continent to restore our glory of football.


“When I became NFF president in 2006, one of my cardinal objectives was to ensure that I develop football from the grassroots program and through our project we got the best players for all the national teams and qualified for all the FIFA organized competition, with Brazil being likely the only country with such a record. We were rated 9th among the football playing nations in the world by FIFA. 


“I didn’t achieve the feat alone, I worked with people like Chief Amanze Uchegbulam who was my first vice president and Taiwo Ogunjobi. I believe Uchegbulam has the experience and capacity to surpass the record if voted as president of NFF,” Lulu said. 


The former FCT director of sports development, who was born in Zaria- Kaduna state where he grew up denounced the agitation by some northern stakeholders, that the next president of NFF after Amaju Pinnick should come from the northern  region since the outgoing president is from the south.


He said merit rather than sentiment should guide the delegates in deciding the next president of the NFF. “I succeeded Ibrahim Galadima and after me it was Aminu Maigari, we were all from the north. So, I don’t believe the southerners have overstayed their welcome not to be the next NFF president. Our Country, NIGERIA has the potential to be the best Globally and therefore we should be looking for merit and the best candidate for the job.


“So, my appeal to our distinguished leaders, my friends, the State FA chairmen and other congress members is to search their hearts well and vote for the right person in the person of Chief Amanze Uchegbulam. 
“I have been there and my passion is to see our football doing well again,” he said

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FG to Diversify Sports For More Youth Empowerment

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The Federal Government has assured that it will explore all possible avenues for more youth participation in sports with a view to  empowering them to become self employed and self reliant so as to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.


The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare gave the assurance  on Friday in his Office in Abuja when he received the Executive Director of Hand – To – Hand Sports Federation of Moscow.


Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar, the Minister stated that “this was in line with the present Administration’s policy thrust which is geared towards making the teeming Nigerian youth entrepreneurial, self-reliant and employable”.


According to him, “the Ministry will put up workable modalities that will make Nigeria not to only key into the Hand – To – Hand Mashal Sports but to also open up more doors for our youth involvement in the various fields of sports world wide”.


He therefore urged the youth in the country to keep themselves abreast with the various policies, programmes and initiatives of the present administration so as to take advantage of every available opportunity to better their lives.


Earlier, the Chief Executive Administrator, Hand – To – Hand Sports, Moscow, Mr. Sorgai Poroshin stated that he was in the Ministry to introduce the game to the country.


According to him, the Sports which had been in existence for the past sixteen years has a thirty- eight-country membership, including Ghana, hence the need for Nigeria to see the possibility of keying into it especially  as it is the giant of Africa. 


He noted that Nigeria’s acceptance of the game will further open a new horizon for the country’s youth to make their mark in the Committee of Sporting World.

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