By Godwin Aikigbe
President, Nigeria Football Federation, Ambassador Chris Giwa, unlike the Amaju Pinnick-led Board, is a man, who has walked the path of peace and rode on the vehicle of the Nigerian legal system to reclaim his mandate.
According to a release signed by his Senior Special Assistant, Victor Iroele, Giwa deserve commendation for waiting till after Nigeria’s return from 2018 World Cup finals in Russia before implementing the court judgment in April, which affirmed him as President of NFF.
The release is against the backdrop of a piece on NSM WhatsApp platform stating: ” Giwa Group Invades NFF, Ransacks Sanusi’s Office for Official Stamp.”
The release reads: Our attention has been drawn to a piece on NSM WhatsApp platform: ” Giwa Group Invades NFF, Ransacks Sanusi’s Office for Official Stamp. ” Ordinarily write ups like this, do not deserve attention but for unsuspecting members of the public, who could be misled into believing this tissue of lies, we are constrained to do a rebuttal.
“One obvious fact from the story is that it was written by someone loyal to those contesting the leadership of NFF with the legally recognized President, Amb. Chris Giwa, a man, who has walked the path of peace and rode on the vehicle of our legal system to reclaim his mandate.
“If Amb. Chris Giwa, who got a Supreme Court ruling on April 27,2018 did not break into the Glasshouse to forcefully claim his mandate, but put the country first above self, because of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, how can he now be the one to destroy a house he has firm control over?
“To say the least, the story is complete fiction, the figment of imagination of the writer and at best tissues of lie orchestrated from the pit of hell. The piece, whoever wrote it, is a classic example of misinformation and disinformation of unsuspecting members of the public.
“The Giwa group has thrived on the truth, stating the facts and allowing the readers to be the judge, whereas, their rivals have thrived on falsehood, propaganda and blackmail, like one, this piece overtly signposts, which has accounted for their consistent degeneracy.
“For the records, No staff of the Federation was sent home on Wednesday, 8th August before their closing time, except the writer was retelling the story of the days of the DSS, when staff were sent home by force by 4pm daily and the office locked up, based on the orders officials of the Federation gave them.
“The grave allegation that Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, the Acting General Secretary, led some policemen to assault a staff is not only malicious, but wicked and defamatory. Most of the sports journalists in Abuja, who cover the NFF, will attest to the fact that the policemen on duty at the Glasshouse had never stopped any one from coming to the Football House, unlike the story when the DSS held the place hostage.
“For anyone to insinuate that Dr Ikpeme led some policemen to assault Bola Oyeyode, is to say the least, very wicked.If Bola Oyeyode had an altercation with his colleague over the official stamp, because it was needed for official assignment by the staff concerned, it was not enough to cook up the tales by moonlight piece, just to cast aspersion on the Giwa group.
“The whipping up of sentiment about FIFA blablabla, has lost its appeal because Nigerians can now see through the veil. It is only in Nigeria that we appeal to the world football governing body to ban the country, while claiming to love the game and country more than anyone else. We have dropped the sentimental garb because it is now about the rule of law and sovereignty of Nigeria.Those who will suffer more should FIFA even ban Nigeria are the writer’s paymasters, who are in global and continental bodies. The positions they cherish so much because of the false sense of importance it gives to them.
“It is interesting to note, the writer reminded Nigerians, how his paymasters failed to qualify the country for back-to-back Nations Cup, Under-20 and Under-17 male teams respectively also failed to qualify for the Africa Nations cup, due to their poor planning. He could not own up but tried weakly to ascribe it to Amb. Chris Giwa, who had been silent while the legal battle lasted.
“If Amb. Chris Giwa is the man known before the law, does it not stand to reason that those threatening our football development are those who won’t respect the rule of law or constituted authorities, but would rather force their way to the Football House using the DSS operatives, who were compelled to retreat from the Glasshouse following the change of guard at the command.
“Name dropping is second nature to the rival group, it still beats my imagination that someone could still claim that the President Buhari directed the Attorney General, Abubakar Malami to use the DSS operatives to evict Amb Chris Giwa and his board, when the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung had stated unequivocally that President Buhari respects rule of law, and cannot use the Attorney General to direct him on happenings in his ministry. This is a no brainer that Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung has remained consistently consistent in trying to resolve this matter amicably with the rival camp always frustrating his efforts.
“Do we need to educate the writer of the piece that the so called emergency congress in Benin was an affront on the judiciary and a desperate effort at trying to look good before the public. You cannot be offering the Oliver branch to the man, who holds the ace because Amb. Chris Giwa is the lawfully recognized NFF President.
“Once again, the public shud dismiss this tissue of lies by a desperate clique, who are bent on their hegemonic grip on our collective patrimony, as if it belongs to them and their cronies alone. Football is a national appeal and must be managed along international best practices. Amb. Chris Giwa represents that lonely voice crying in the wilderness against oppression in our football, which the writer of this piece and his paymasters represent.”