A former Nigeria international, Segun Odegbami, has urged the Federal Government to launch an inquest into circumstances surrounding failure of the Nigeria Football Federation to endorse his candidature on time for the FIFA Presidential election.
The NFF endorsement, he claimed, came at 2pm on the deadline day for registration of aspirants despite directives by the federal government, which came much earlier, that he should be endorsed.
“The letter addressed to FIFA and copied to my mailbox was sent to me at 2pm on the final day of submission, October 26, following my protestations to various persons in government and even outside it.
At that point even if I was a magician, I could not have got five endorsements from 5 different countries in the 10 hours to midnight of the final day. “Interestingly, as Amaju Pinnick (the NFF President) was seeking endorsements for me on the final day in Cairo, Orji Kalu’s aides in Nigeria issued a press release stating that the former governor never applied for nomination from the NFF in the first place, and curiously, at the same time, was withdrawing from the FIFA race. He thanked all those that had had been clamouring for him to contest,” said Odegbami in a statement issued yesterday.
That development, he averred, “is a statement that speaks volumes about the whole shenanigans that played out”.
He thereby urged the federal government, the National Assembly and the National Sports Commission to probe and investigate what really happened so that such would never repeat itself again.
“Nigerians must look beyond the personalities involved and focus on what could have been lost through this impudent action,” said Odegbami.
– Oladipo Okubanjo