Prior to the NFF electoral congress on September 30 in Benin City, Edo State, an alleged “hidden relationship” between the current president of the organization, Amaju Pinnick, and the second Vice President of the body, Shehu Dikko, has been a major concern for other contenders in the race.
There are now 13 candidates vying to replace Pinnick. Seyi Akinwunmi, the NFF’s first vice president, the Chairman of Chairmen Ibrahim Gusau, the former NFF secretary Musa Amadu, the CAF Director of Security Christian Emeruwa, the former Super Eagles goalkeeper and media officer Peterside Idah, the former player Benedict Akwuegbu, the former SWAN President and General Manager of Heartland FC Fan Ndubuoke, the former Arsenal Youth Team coach Anyanwu Marcello,
The Chairman of the “Illegal” League Management Company (LMC), Dikko, is said to have entered the race to replace Pinnick, The Guardian learned yesterday. Other competitors are reportedly disturbed by the development.
A source said yesterday that Dikko is supposedly working behind the scenes for Pinnick to help him defeat the competition. Pinnick is a member of the FIFA Executive Committee.
The source claims that senior Ministry of Sports and Youth Development officials have stepped up in an effort to put an end to Pinnick and Dikko’s’secret romance’ in the run-up to the election.
Yesterday, it remained unclear if the Federal Government’s recent statement rejecting the endorsement of the Dikko-led LMC as the operator of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was a ruse to undermine the purported “hidden romance.”
Pinnick said last week that he had no preference candidate to replace him in office. He said this to some of the competitors. The contenders, Akinwunmi, Dikko, and Ibrahim Musa Gusau, met him in his office.
Pinnick said that he arranged the meeting behind closed doors to let the competitors know that he had no favorite among them.
To offset Pinnick’s reported backing for Dikko, The MINIECHAT also learned yesterday that a senior official in the sports ministry is secretly working for one of the candidates.