Amaju Pinnick Reelected President Of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)

by Samuel Abasi Posted on September 20th, 2018

Abuja, Nigeria : Amaju Pinnick was reelected president of the Nigeria Football Federation on Thursday. He scored a total of 34 votes, Maigari 8 votes, Ogunjobi 2 votes, and Okoye 0 votes.

The 44-year-old beat off challenges from former president Aminu Maigari, Taiwo Ogunjobi and Chinedu Okoye.

Pinnick, the first vice president of the Confederation of African Football, secured 34 votes from the 44 available in a first round of voting.

Maigari received eight votes, Ogunjobi two and Okoye failed to secure a vote.

The victory means that Pinnick and his new board will run the NFF until 2022.

Throughout his first four years in charge Pinnick has had to deal with claims from Chris Giwa that he was the rightful winner of the 2014 polls.

FIFA has continued to give its backing to Pinnick and also made a five-year ban from football related activities on Giwa a worldwide one.

In his campaign to stay in power Pinnick said he wanted to establish financial independence for the NFF and end its reliance on government funding.

“We have proven that with our national teams the NFF has a very marketable brand, largely thanks to the sheer size of our fan base and international appeal, so it is possible to achieve this financial independence,” the 44-year-old said.

Pinnick and his board sealed some ground-breaking sponsorship agreements with the private sector during his first term and he wants to continue this trend.

The election came after a controversy surrounding who the substantive president of the federation is.

Chris Giwa had been laying claims to being the President of the federation, an issue, which almost got the country ban from FIFA. Giwa was later banned from footballing activities for 5 years by FIFA.

Seyi Akinwunmi was also returned as vice-president of the football federation.

He polled 41 votes to defeat Sunday Ajayi who had two votes.

Likewise, incumbent Shehu Gusau was re-elected as chairman of state football association chairmen. He polled 42 votes while Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah had just one.

Ubah’s request to withdraw from the contest was rejected on the ground that it should have come before the election started.

Delta State Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated, Mr. Amaju Pinnick on his re-election on Thursday, as President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

In a statement issued in Asaba on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, Governor Okowa said he wasn’t surprised over the overwhelming victory of Amaju Pinnick.

He said Pinnick had exhibited great dedication to his job and had made great contribution to the round leather game in Nigeria, Africa and the World.

Okowa noted that Pinnick’s firm belief in revolutionising football administration in Nigeria has paid off in his achievements since he was first elected as NFF President in 2014.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I congratulate you, Mr Amaju Pinnick, an illustrious son of Delta State, on your re-election as NFF President”.

“Your re-election no doubt is a confirmation of the giant strides and contributions you have made in revolutionising football administration globally, adding, “As a sport–passionate nation, Nigerians are proud of the rich assemblage of visionary and dedicated football administrators in the NFF Executive Committee led by Mr Amaju Pinnick”.

“As a state, we are committed to the improvement of schools sports with special focus on football, hence we have reactivated our Headmasters’ and Principals’ cup competitions with the aim of discovering young talents in football and bearing in mind that Delta State is known for its sporting prowess and achievements”.

“With the completion of the Stephen Keshi Stadium Asaba, we are open to partnerships with the NFF and other sport loving organisations to provide a platform which will give further vent to Nigerian football and empower the youths to great career heights.

“It is our prayer that your re-election will further lead to the growth of football in Nigeria, Africa and beyond,” the governor stated.

Gianni Infantino, President of World Football ruling body, FIFA has sent a congratulatory message to Amaju Pinnick on his re-election as the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

In the letter addressed to the NFF and copied to the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Infantino congratulated Pinnick and the other executive members who were elected and wished them the best of luck for the challenges ahead.

“Dear Pinnick, allow me to extend to you my warmest congratulations on your re-election as President of the NFF for the 2018 – 2022 period, at today’s NFF Elective Congress in Katsina State.

“Also convey my congratulations to all your colleagues of the Executive Committee who were elected with you.

“I wish you and your team the best of luck, strength and every success for all the challenges that lie ahead.

“I look forward to continuing to work with you and seeing you soon to congratulate you in person,” Infantino said.

Pinnick promises more focus on youth soccer

Amaju Pinnick, the re-elected President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) , on Thursday promised to focus more on youth programmes, adding that football was the winner at the end of the polls in Katsina.

The polls was conducted by the NFF Electoral Committee put in place by the NFF Congress at last year’s General Assembly in Jos, Plateau on Oct. 19, 2017.

Pinnick swept aside three other contestants, polling 34 votes to second –placed Aminu Maigari’s 8, with former international Taiwo Ogunjobi getting only 2 votes, while there was none for club owner Chinedu Okoye.

A statement by Ademola Olajire, the NFF’s Director of Communication, said Pinnick pledged to focus even harder on youth development programmes in his second tenure.

Pinnick, who is also the 1st Vice President of the Confederation of African Football, was also quoted as saying that there was no victor and no vanquished in the race as football remained the ultimate winner.

In his acceptance speech, Pinnick specifically thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha.

Pinnick also thanked the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Chief of Staff to the President, the Director- General, Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police for their tremendous support for the board.

“We respectfully ask for more support as we start a new tenure, during which we aim to consolidate on our vision of building a sustainable football culture for our dear country, and continue the great march toward ensuring financial independence for the NFF.

“We owe this country a lot, and we are committed to working hard to give back so much to it.

“We intend to set up a reconciliation team in a few days to reach out to aggrieved members of the football family with a view to bringing everyone under one umbrella for the purpose of a united front in the pursuit of the greater good for Nigerian Football,” he said.

The NFF supremo also thanked the Governors of Delta and Edo States for their understanding and support, as well as players and officials of the various National Teams for their efforts at doing Nigeria proud at all times.

A festive atmosphere reigned in the ‘Home of Hospitality’ as the full machinery of government was in motion to watch over the big occasion of the NFF 2018 Elective Congress, alongside the presence of observers from world football governing body, FIFA and the Confederation of African Football.

At the opening ceremony, Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State poured encomiums on the NFF administration led by Pinnick for its major strides over the past four years,

He noted trophies won in the FIFA Under 17 World Cup, Women Africa Cup of Nations, the U23 and U20 Africa Cup of Nations, Olympic football bronze and the recent WAFU U17 Cup triumph in Niger Republic.

He praised the aggressive marketing drive of the administration that had galvanized a steady move toward financial independence, while pledging that the Government of Katsina State would continue to invest in football development because of the game’s virtues of youth empowerment and meaningful engagement.

Governor Masari was accompanied to the event by top officials of the Katsina State Government, including the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ahmed El-Marzuq, the Chief Judge of Katsina State, Justice Musa Abubakar, the Commissioner for Sports, Abu Dankun and the Grand Khadi of the state, Hafiz Bakori.

Pinnick became the first man since Father Dennis Slattery (of blessed memory) in 1957 to be elected back-to-back to one of the hottest seats in world football.

Second-placed Maigari, the immediate past occupier of the office, warmly embraced Pinnick after the vote, saying: “The vote has come and gone, and football is the winner. The focus is football development.

“I bear no grudge and I must say that I am indeed delighted by the strides that Amaju Pinnick has taken since taking over from me four years ago. He is like a son and I am proud of him.”

Incumbent Seyi Akinwunmi was even more emphatic in retaining his seat, bagging 41 of the votes to challenger Sunday Dele-Ajayi’s 2, while one vote was deemed invalid.

In other votes, incumbent Ibrahim Musa Gusau retained his seat as Chairman of Chairmen on the Board, polling 42 of 44 votes, following the withdrawal of Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah on the floor of the election.

Ahmed Yusuf Fresh and Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande retained their seats on the board, after a nerve –jangling contest that went to three rounds.

Chairman of Kwara State Football Association, Busari Ishola was eliminated in the first round after polling only 10 votes, leaving Yusuf and Fresh to vie in the second.

Fresh edged it 22-21, and Ishola was then re-instated to challenge Yahaya-Kwande for the remaining slot from North Central. In the event, Yahaya-Kwande won by 28 votes to 14.

Emmanuel Ibah defeated Oswald Atuake 28 votes to 15 to win the remaining slot from the South South (following Pinnick’s re-election), while Ganiyu Majekodunmi and Sharif Rabiu Inuwa were unopposed for the South -West and North -West slots.

Three candidates slugged it out in the South-East, with Enyimba FC chairman Felix Anyansi-Agwu winning the lone slot available (as Chidi Ofo Okenwa still has a seat as Chairman of the Nigeria National League).

Anyansi-Agwu polled 32 votes, to nearest challenger Emmanuel Ochiagha’s eight.

Jude Obikwelu and Pastor Emeka Inyama, who withdrew from the contest on the floor of the election, still got two votes and one vote respectfully.

FIFA observers Luca Piazza and Solomon Mudege, and CAF observer Sita Sangare witnessed both the opening ceremony and the entire Elective Congress proper.

Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Barrister Muhammed Sani Katu, afterward swore in the new Board.

Next up for Pinnick is his formal inauguration as the 1st Vice President of CAF, at the body’s Extraordinary General Assembly in Egypt on Sept. 30.

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Samuel Abasi

Samuel Abasi

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