The President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his directive that has temporarily resolved the leadership tussle engulfing the body.
This comes as operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) stormed the NFF Secretariat, Abuja yesterday and evicted factional leader Chris Giwa to pave the way for the return of the Pinnick-led board pending the determination of a suit on the matter.
NFF General Secretary Dr Mohammed Sanusi also received a letter from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice to the effect that Nigeria would respect world football body, FIFA’s position on the matter.
Following the turn of events, Pinnick, who just returned from Morocco where he addressed a CAF conference, said he has always trusted in the understanding and commitment of President Buhari to act in the best interest of the nation.
“We must give all the credit to our President, Muhammadu Buhari, for acting to restore the leadership of the federation and saving the nation the embarrassment,” Pinnick said.
“Even as the situation persisted, I was very positive about his patriotic commitment to the best interest of the nation and his clarity of judgment to bring order to bear. It is said that the sheep cannot be suffering the pangs of birth tied to the stake while elders are around. He has demonstrated this fatherliness in so many ways across various sectors and now football is the latest beneficiary. We thank God for his life and for giving him to us,” Pinnick said.
“By his intervention, the nation has been saved the embarrassment, the world football community has been reassured of the high sense of responsibility of the government of Nigeria as a member of the international community and hope is brought back to thousands of Nigeria youths engaged in football as the various national teams can proceed on their various programmes without apprehension, the various leagues which were stopped under the circumstance can now get back to action while the confidence of the various sponsors, partners and investors in Nigeria football has been restored.”
Dr Sanusi added: “We cannot thank His Excellency enough for his action in restoring order to the Football House. By this single action, our President has restored hope to millions of Nigerian youth and the not-so-young who are involved in one way or the other in the football business. Now they can live and breathe their favourite game once more.
“All plans and programmes of the various National Teams will proceed accordingly, and we also believe the League Management Company will now put arrangements in place for the resumption of the Nigeria Professional Football League.”
Similarly, the national leadership of the Nigeria Football Referees Association (NRA), the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers (NANPF) and the Nigeria Football Coaches Association expressed appreciation to President Buhari for his decisive intervention in the matter.