The Nigeria Football Supporters Club on Monday said it had uncovered plans by Amaju Pinnick, the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, to influence the NFSC election holding next month.
The Supporters Club alleged that the NFF president has given N10 million to Vincent Okumagba, a chairmanship candidate in the forthcoming election, to enable him rig.
The ex-Public Relations Officer of the club, Hafeez Balogun, said that club officials and members were enraged as information filtered in on the alleged NFF connections to Okumagba in the build-up to the elections.
Balogun said the club totally condemned the over-bearing influence of the NFF President on its activities.
He frowned at the interest of the NFF president in the daily affairs of the club, insisting that “the NFSC was determined to rebuff Pinnick as he has planned to run both the NFF as well as the Supporters Club”.
Balogun queried: “Is the NFF going to conduct elections for the Supporters Club? Why is Pinnick dishing out money to a contestant in the elections? Why is Pinnick insisting to bring a hand-picked election monitor from the NFF.
“The Supporters Club has been and will continue to remain an independent body and would not be intimidated by anybody or any organisation and we condemn the behind-the-scenes manipulations by Pinnick and his cohorts. NFSC and NFF are independent bodies with a common interest in football, but we will resist any plans to run our club by proxy. Trust me, we will resist them.”
Balogun said the development was not necessary considering that the NFF was invited to the reconciliation meeting the NFSC held with Okumagba in October at which it was decided that the club reabsorbed the impeached Chairman to allow him contest the leadership of the club in the election billed for December 10, 2016.
Okumagba, who acted as the Club’s National Chairman, was impeached in July for gross misconduct, anti-club activities, abuse of office and flagrant disrespect for constituted authority.
Balogun, however, added that the club “in the spirit of fair play postponed its elections which would have held this November to allow Okumagba to contest.
“We also dissolved the executive committee of the Club so that no one will influence the elections and then we set up a steering committee instead to oversee the affairs of our club in the run-up to the elections.
“However, it seems that the hand of friendship we have extended has been taken for granted and those who are sowing the seeds of trouble will not succeed”, Balogun added.
Efforts to reach the NFF Chairman as well as the Chairman of the Steering Committee, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, for their comments by mobile phone were not successful as automated messages from their network providers said the numbers were switched off.
Other members of the Steering Committee include Alhaji W.A Yusuf, Benjamin Ebor, Vincent Okumagba and Yomi Whesu.
Elder Issac Ukpebor, Pastor A. Aregbesola, Rev. Samuel Ikpea and Dora Dadogobo are also members.