An experienced Nigerian football stakeholder, Mr. Emmanuel Zira, has asked the current leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to ensure that henceforth, the various leagues are allowed to legitimately elect those who will pilot their affairs.
Mr. Zira who spoke to Blueprint in an interview from Yola, Adamawa state capital, said like the State Football Associations, Nigeria Football Coaches Association, Nigeria Referees Association and other components of the country’s football structure, the Nigeria Premier Football League, Nigeria National League, Nigeria Nation-wide League and Nigeria Women Football League should elect executive of the leagues’ hierarchy.
The former Adamawa United chairman while reacting to a recent statement credited to NFF President Ibrahim Gusau that club officials will not be allowed to get involved in administering the League, said much as he was of the view that anybody aspiring to lead or be part of the league board must resign club position, the clubs must be fully involved in deciding who governs the leagues.
He said, “The league board from the chairman or chairperson must be elected by the club chairmen. The congress of Nigerian Professional clubs (men and women) should have the privilege to elect their board, no appointments, it’s an aberration, NFF should not appoint, let the 20 club elect their board members, but the board members should not be from the clubs.”
Speaking on the crises which most times disrupt the free flow of activities in the Nigerian leagues, Zira, who had also been the chairman of Adamawa Queens emphatically said, “It is wrong when anyone denies clubs the opportunity to decide who leads the leagues.
“The club should be allowed to elect their own leader Ibrahim Galadima gave us that opportunity when FIFA wrote to him that the Nigeria Premier League league should elect their own leader. The election should also be applied to other leagues that exist. Allow them to be elected so we have peace.
On the composition of the league boards, Mr. Zira said, he had advocated that no serving club chairman or official should be involved in administering the leagues.
“In constituting the League board, the club can nominate anybody they feel can and they will vote for the person. We must now have to remove our interest. I said it before, once you’re elected as NFF executive, you should relinquish your position as an FA chairman. When Infantino was elected as FIFA president, he was the president of UEFA, he immediately resigned.
“In this instance about the league, the only thing is that any person who wants to get involved in being in the board, he or she must relinquish his or her position in the club. There should be a statutory period for person or persons to resign. if you want to contest in an election, there should be a statutory period you should resign and come back and contest.
“You can not hold that position at the club and wants to run the league,” he said.