Former Super Eagles’ captain Sunday Ogorchukwu Oliseh resumed life as Head Coach of the team on Wednesday, with a clear message to the generality of Nigerians: “I come to serve my country, not to wage a war.”
There were several questions and insinuations at Wednesday’s colourful official presentation ceremony bothering on Oliseh’s perceived ‘stubbornness,’ but the former captain swiftly differentiated between being principled and being stubborn.
“I have come to serve, and the NFF has promised to give me all the support I need to succeed. They are the employers and I am the employee. That distinction has to be appreciated at all times.
“I have had meetings with members of the Technical and Development Committee, led by Chief Anyansi-Agwu, very knowledgeable people all. I have met members of the Executive Committee and the General Secretary. I believe we will all work together excellently. It is a huge honour to be the Head Coach of Nigeria.”
NFF President Amaju Pinnick presided over the event, supported by Vice Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, Executive Committee members Anyansi-Agwu, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, Dilichukwu Onyedinma, Babagana Kalli and Ahmad Kawu, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi and other members of NFF management, including Technical Director Shaibu Amodu.
As Pinnick announced to the audience that the NFF would immediately pay three months’ salary of Oliseh and his assistants in advance, the member of the FIFA Technical Study Group opened a window on his philosophy for player-selection.
“My assistants and myself will not invite to the camp of the National Team of Nigeria, any player who is not playing in the top division in the recognised Leagues of the world, including Nigeria. The only exception would be those players from any of the age-grade National Teams that we find exceptional and deserving of an opportunity to try and win shirts in the senior team.
“One thing I will say, dear compatriots, is that I am not a Messiah. I have come to do my very best, give 150%, to take Nigeria football to the next level, with the support of my assistants, the NFF and relevant stakeholders. I am optimistic that we will lift the Nigeria game to a new height.”
The NFF leadership later presented Oliseh and his assistants to the Director General of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Alhassan Saleh Yakmut.