Melvin Amaju Pinnick has broken the longstanding jinx by becoming the first man to be re-elected as the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President.
Amaju soundly defeated Alhaji Aminu Magari who was backed by the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung. The Delta State born football administrator pulled 34 votes from the delegates while Magari could only muster 8 votes. ex-general-secretary, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi got two votes and Honourable Chinedu Okoye did not have any vote.
The chairman of the Electoral committee for the election, Muhammed Katu announced results of the election, to which FIFA representatives, Luca Piazza and Solomon Mudege were among football chiefs who witnessed the process. In his acceptance speech, Pinnick specifically thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Chief of Staff to the President, the DG, 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 towards 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.”
Nigeria narrowly escaped FIFA ban after the Sports Minister had openly sided with an earlier court ruling in favour of former NFF Chairman Alhaji Aminu Magari. There has been no love lost between the factions until forcing FIFA to state its support for the Amaju-led NFF.