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Corruption: The bane of NFF!

Corruption is one major problem that has continued to hinder the development of Nigerian football. From the administrators, referees, coaches and even the players, the story remains the same as this hydra-headed monster continues to torment and eat deep into the fabrics of our beautiful game.

The most annoying aspect of this hydra-headed monster is that the relevant anti-graft agencies are not doing much to end this cankerworm.

On record, despite all the huge cry from stakeholders of Nigerian football to end this greed among our football administrators, not a single person has been convicted.

For example, during the Sani Lulu-led NFF, the sum of $236, 000 disappeared from the secretariat of the NFF. The then Secretary General of NFF, Dr. Bolaji Ojo-oba in whose office the money grew wings feigned ignorant of what happened by denying having knowledge of how the money got missing.

Today, Ojo-oba is a free man as he recently retired as the Director of Grassroots Sports Development in the National Sports Commission (NSC), in Abuja.

To say the least, even FIFA under whose umbrella NFF is affiliated to internationally is not helping issues.

The world football ruling body does not care about how all the grants it gives to the NFF is being spent, especially in the development of the game and any attempt to probe them using government anti-graft agencies is seen as an interference.

This scenario once prompted the Senate President, David Mark to take a swipe on the NFF in early 2012 describing the body as the most corrupt government agency in the country.

HT recalls that Mark made the claims during the consideration of a motion on the dwindling trends of sport in the country sponsored by Senator Adamu Gumba and 15 others, in which it was revealed that the NFF embezzled over N2.16 billion proceeds given to Nigeria by FIFA.

Mark added that corruption in NFF was responsible for the total decline in football, lamenting that Nigeria which was once the football giant of Africa now quivers before smaller football nations during matches.

The Senate President even went further to advice the Federal Government to shut down football for a period of time to allow for better planning.

According to him, “The fact that FIFA say we cannot touch NFF does not mean we cannot disband football, we can forget football lock ourselves in a room for many years so as to get it right.”

From the forgoing, it is clear that NFF deserves total sanitation beginning from how funds are utilized for football development.

The Amaju Pinnick-led NFF must commence this process by allowing independent auditors to come into the Glass House to audit the accounts of the federation without further delay.

HT gathered that one of the major issues which led to the recent impromptu resignation of Musa Amadu as the General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) last Wednesday was in relation to how funds both from FIFA and the NSC were spent.

It is the stand of HT that the present NFF must show commitment towards sanitising the football house for a stitch in time saves nine.

Next week we shall be taking a look at the travails of one of Nigeria’s ageless boxers who is currently being incarcerated in Kuje Prison. What did he do to warrant this treatment?

Keep a date with us next week for details!

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