Maigari, Umeh differ on cause of fire at NFF

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ABUJA – The Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji  Aminu Maigari, on Wednesday described the fire that gutted a section of the football secretariat in Abuja as unfortunate.

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Maigari returned on Monday to his office after three weeks of absence following his impeachment by NFF Board members.

He returned to office following a directive by the Minister of Sports, Mr Tammy Danagogo, on Friday.

His return also followed World football governing body, FIFA, directive that all parties involved in the NFF crisis to maintain post Brazil 2014 World Cup status.

Maigari told newsmen after inspecting the level of damage by the fire that he was astonished by the incident.

“I am short of words. It is a very unfortunate and sad development. We leave everything in the hands of God.

“We thank God that no life was lost but I know things will come back to normal.  I believe the security agents will set up an investigative panel of inquiry to ascertain what actually happened.

“We will sit as a board to know what steps to be taken. This is an act of God.  I don’t want to apportion blame to anybody,’’ Maigari said.

He also said the development would not affect the country’s preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Congo in Calabar on Sept. 6. [eap_ad_1] “I believe it is not going to affect our course in any way. The Falconets are willing and determined to make Nigeria proud and we are doing everything possible to ensure they succeed.

“A board member will fly to Canada tonight to inspire them and take a message of support from Nigerians to them,’’ he said.

The chairman called for the collaboration of the board members so as to achieve more positive result for the country’s football.

However, the Acting Chairman of NFF, Chief Mike Umeh, told newsmen that it was difficult to believe that electric spark was responsible for the fire outbreak.

He said the fire was an act of sabotage, adding that the development was strange to Nigerian football.

“Nobody will believe what happened this morning. We are having this kind of fire from the Secretary-General’s office to the Accounts Department.

“This happened during the working hours. It is not as if it started midnight and it was not controlled.

“Every file there has been destroyed and that will explain to you what we are saying that there is a lot of corruption going on in the NFF.

“That is why we distanced ourselves from the meeting that held yesterday. We did not agree with that meeting because nobody can perpetuate himself into power.

“What they did yesterday seems they are buying time. We must hold our election on Aug. 26.

“If they like let them burn the entire Abuja city,’’ Umeh said, in apparent reference to the face-off between him and Maigari.

Umeh and Maigari had been at loggerhead over the leadership of the NFA. (NAN)


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