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The board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for stepping in to resolve the federation’s lingering leadership crisis, which helped the country to ‘avert suspension from international football on Monday.’
The NFF also thanked “heads of the various security agencies, members of the National Assembly, members of its congress, sponsors/partners, football stakeholders, analysts and ball fans who stood solidly by the tenets of association football.”
However, while the Presidency stepped in to avert further crisis in Nigerian football, Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung is still insisting on the ‘rule of law,’ saying, the intervention of the Vice President should not be viewed as different from an attempt to abate an escalating situation.
In a statement yesterday, NFF President, Melvin Amaju Pinnick, said the position of President Buhari and that of the Federal Government, which was conveyed to FIFA by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo “has convinced FIFA that Nigeria is indeed ready as ever to follow FIFA’s Statutes.
While revealing that the NFF board had met with the Reconciliation Committee set up by the Sports Ministry and outlined the steps to be taken to conclusively resolve ongoing issues in Nigerian football, Pinnick added that the federation has presented to the Presidency a roadmap for general reform of the country’s football system.
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung also welcomed the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s intervention, which saved Nigeria from being suspended by FIFA, saying he believed in the resolution of the crisis, “which has a history dating back to almost 20 years since the removal of Mr. Anthony Kojo Williams from office.”
However, in what seems as a disagreement with the Federal Government’s stance on the issue, Dalung said, “as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, who took oath of office to protect and defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I will prefer to stand with the Rule of Law instead of the opinion of men.
“We are a constitutional democracy and the doctrine of separation of powers is the foundation of democratic experience, therefore, the Rule of Law is the only mechanism that guarantees liberty and freedom of citizens.
“This administration was elected on the change mantra meaning that impunity has no accommodation anywhere, so Nigerians must learn to believe and practice the doctrine of the Rule of Law.
I believe we shall overcome this if we remain within the confines and dictates of the laws of our country.”