The Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung has admitted that the Federal Government erred in appointing new members into the Nigeria Football Federation board, which already has elected members.
In a controversial, potentially damaging move on Saturday, four individuals were named as new board members of the NFF, a body that should be autonomous and devoid of government interference under FIFA laws.
The four men Wale Oladunjoye, Sanni Fema, Akintoba Fategun and Sami Marafa were named into the NFF board as a part of appointments announced into the boards of Federal Government agencies.
The current NFF board members were elected in 2014 and their tenure will expire in 2018.
Instead of simply revoking the appointments to avoid FIFA sanctions going into a World Cup year, Dalung instead issued a statement through his media representative Nneka Anibeze ‘calling on football stakeholders to remain calm as efforts were being made to correct an oversight made following the recent appointments into the board of the Nigeria Football Federation.’
The Federal government announced the appointments on Saturday of over 1,000 members including 209 board Chairmen to fill boards and government parastatal positions including the Nigeria Football Federation, the National Youth Service Corps, the National Institute for Sports and the Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre which are all under the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“The recently released board members of NFF is an oversight which is being sorted out. NFF is governed by statutes and board members are elected by congress and not appointed,” Dalung said in the press release.
“I am appealing for calm from all stakeholders as it was an administrative oversight. Efforts are tailored towards addressing it very soon.
“I have spoken with FIFA Secretary General over the situation in Nigeria and conveyed Federal government’s commitment to uphold the governance structure of the Nigeria Football Federation.
“All efforts are on course to liaise with CAF and FIFA on constructive engagement that the situation may likely attract. This board of NFF under Amaju Pinnick has provided leadership but their performance is subject to a congress and not appointment.”
In another Federal Government oversight, at least three of the new appointees into the agency boards (not the NFF) are dead, calling into question the competence of those who made the appointments.
However, one appointment that has been widely accepted is the naming of former Nigeria Football Association Chairman Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima as the Chairman of the National Institute for Sports.