ABUJA – Amaju Pinnick, Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) board which just returned to office, on Thursday said President Goodluck Jonathan’s intervention in the lingering football crisis has been crucial.
In a statement in Abuja by NFF’s Assistant Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, Pinnick praised Jonathan for “his fatherly role in the promotion of peace within the Nigerian football family’’.
The Pinnick-led NFF board returned to office after the Federal High Court in Jos had struck out the case brought against it.
The Chris Giwa-led board which was elected on Aug. 26 in Abuja had asked the court to annul the other board’s election which took place in Warri on Sept. 30.
But the group had withdrawn the case on Thursday, forcing Justice Ambrose Alagoa to strike out the case.
The statement by Olajire said Jonathan had called a truce meeting involving leading figures in Nigerian football on Wednesday.
It said the move had effectively led to the resolution of a leadership crisis which had threatened the soul of the Nigerian game.
“President Jonathan’s keen personal interest and fatherly role have enabled the eventual peaceful resolution of a disturbing crisis, and I wish to express the heartfelt appreciation of the entire Nigerian football family to him.
“We are all very grateful to him as he has once more demonstrated his well-known love for our football and we can never thank him enough,” Pinnick said in the statement.
The NFF chairman also commended the efforts of Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, Sports Minister Tammy Danagogo, Giwa and others.
“They all played roles in quenching the leadership crisis flame. I assure President Jonathan and all top government officials who played one role or the other in the resolution of the crisis that the NFF is now much stronger.
“It will be able to confront the challenges of painstakingly developing the game to take our football to new heights.
“The football family is also more united and we assure the Giwa group that we will sit down and see how and where they can make lasting contributions to the development of the Nigerian game,” Pinnick assured in the statement.(NAN)