ABUJA – Sports journalists in Abuja have expressed worry over the condition given by Ebiakpo Baribote for the withdrawal of court case against the Aminu Maigari-led Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)
Baribote had given as conditions the withdrawal of the 15-year-ban from football on her husband, Victor Baribote.
She also demanded that the husband be reinstated as the second vice chairman of the then Nigeria Premier League (NPL).
Some of them, who spoke to NAN after the plaintiff withdrew the case which necessitated the reinstatement of the board, advised government not to overlook these conditions.
Patrick Ngwaogu of the Nation newspaper, urged the minister of sports to set up a panel with a view of thrashing all pending issues in the Nigerian football.
This, he said, would pave way for a lasting peace in the football house and also prevent Baribote from returning to court to seek redress.
“I believe the way forward will be for the minister and major stakeholders to sit down and find a lasting solution to this lingering problem.
“There are conditions Mrs Baribote mentioned as condition for withdrawing the court order against the NFA board; that condition should not be jettisoned to avoid a repeat of this FIFA suspension.
“There are others who have one thing or the other against the board, all these must be brought to the table for a genuine reconciliation,’’ Ngwaogu said.
Anthony Udoka, a Sub Editor with the Nigerian Pilot, said the incessant court cases negate the development of football in the country.
Udoka said what the country’s football needed now was to purge it of all case, and the only way was through fresh election into the board of NFA and boards of Nigerian leagues.
“With fresh elections, I think most of these problems will be taken care of.
“I am not saying that there should not be a mechanism to settle the lingering issues; what I am saying is that after peace must have been achieved, then election can follow.
“This will help the nation’s football body to start again on a clean slate,’’ Udoka said.
The worry expressed by some sports journalists followed comments from, Emeka Inyama, Chairman, Media and Publicity of NFF board, that those banned from Nigerian football should appeal.
Some football stakeholders on the other hand are threatening to return to court if their grievances against the Maigari-led board were not addressed.
NAN recalls that Jide Fashikun, the Publisher of Gong News, an online media outfit, had threatened to sue the Minister of Sports if he failed to probe the financial records of the NFF
The NFF board members had in response after they were reinstated to office called on the Federal Government to probe the football house finances. (NAN)