Seyi Akinwumi, the first vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Christian Emeruwa, the president of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), and Amanze Uchegbulam, the chairman of the Imo State Football Association (Imo State FA), among other candidates from the south who are running for the NFF presidency on September 30 will soon learn whether or not their bid to succeed Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the current leader, will be fruit
Recent events, such as the list of candidates that the Electoral Committee has certified for different elected offices, make this obvious.
The list of approved candidates for the elections scheduled to take place in Benin was made public by the Electoral Committee on Monday, September 12.
Ten of the potential presidential candidates were chosen to launch their campaigns; of these 10, six are from the north and four are from the south.
Akinwunmi, from the South-West, Emeruwa, from the South-East, Uchegbulam, from the CAF’s Head of Safety and Security, and Peterside Idah, a former Nigerian international goalkeeper, are the four Southerners.
Stakeholders assert that each of these candidates was cheated out of the presidential contest.
The first vice president post has been “zoned” to the South East, and only three individuals from the region have been allowed to run for the job.
In addition to Felix Anyansi-Agwu from Abia State and Senator Obinna Ogba from Ebonyi State, who are both already on the NFF board, Chinedu Okoye from Anambra State is also one of the three candidates.
It has been contended by stakeholders that having the first vice president position “zoned” to the South-East would make it impossible for any of the four southerners to win the next NFF presidency.
BBC sports reporter Osasu Obayiuwaana examined the candidates for the presidency, first vice-presidency, and other executive committee positions before the election and stated, “From what I see, it is clear that political deals have been done underground, by Nigerian football’s principalities and powers, from the list of candidates.
In order to prevent any Southern candidate from winning the election, they have explicitly assigned the first vice presidency of the NFF to the South Eastern Zone. The president and first vice president cannot both be from the South or the North in Nigeria due to geopolitics.
This indicates that the South’s presidential hopefuls, like as Emeruwa, Uchegbulam, and Akinwunmi, face a very difficult, if not impossible, uphill battle.
Segun Odegbami, a former Super Eagles captain and striker, had previously said that it would be “very impossible for a Southerner to succeed” Amaju Pinnick as NFF’s next president. His opinion supports that statement.
He based his estimates on the reality that Nigeria’s political landscape has been influenced by regional politics. “I am not knowledgeable about politics, and when you want to run for any position, whatever position you have to run for, whatever position you have to meet people, in this environment, you have to bribe, cheat, and manipulate certificates, you have to do all kinds of things to win elections in this part, and football is not immune from it,” Odegbami said.
“Your origins are important, too. Are you Igbo or Yoruba, a native of the North or the South? Similar to the elections we will have in September, the major determining element will be where the various candidates will hail from.
“An exiting Delta worker had previously worked with us. Any Southerner running to lead the NFF will likely find it challenging since the main concern will be whether or not their time has come and now it is our turn.
These theories are not set in stone since both the current NFF president, Pinnick, and his first vice president, Akinwunmi, are from the south. The capacity of the candidates to compromise and convince voters to support them as a candidate, among other things, might thus influence the outcome of the election.