|Former FIFA man, Dr. Amos Adamu|
DATELINE: 30th August, 2008. Venue is the Rockview Hotel, Abuja and the event was the Globacom Premier league seminar with a theme of ‘Good governance and the future of football league in Africa.
Some of the key personnel there include Chief Oyuiki ‘moving train’ Obaseki, Dominic Iorfa, Harry Iwuala, then of Globacom, SuperSport’s Felix Awogu, Mainasara Ilo, Daily Trust‘s Ismaila Lere etc The key speaker at the closing ceremony which started from the 26th was Dr. AmosAdamu. The import I am trying to draw out is the fact that, certain home truth were delivered which today remains the key that anyone who is sincere needs to either watch the 47:13minutes recording of the proceedings.
TRUTH NO. 1: MEDIA IS OUR PROBLEM: By the order of Dr. Adamu himself, this should be the second but I have brought it to the fore as the first. Hear him: “You, the media, you are one of our biggest problems. Please report the game. Leave the personalities alone. Leave Lulu, Obaseki, Amos Adamu or the minister out of your reports. You are the biggest stakeholders of sports in Nigeria. Many of the things we read on your pages reflect the quality of respect extended to you. (This is very true as sportswriters are the least respected journalists in Nigeria).
He continued: “leave the personalities, report the coaches, athletes, fans and the game. Go into the policies and politics, do the critique and we will advance.”
TRUTH NO. 2: RESPECT FOR OURSELVES AND THE RULES: This was in the order Dr. Adamu’s second. It is second here. If we respect ourselves, the policies and the rules of the engagements between us, there will be no conflict rather we shall develop. He cited where according to him: “I create conflict between the two of them atimes to create room for development. I will call Obaseki and tell him, why agree to Lulu. When Lulu comes complaining, I tell him don’t agree. When they have reached a level, I’ll tell him, ‘don’t agree’. Until I leave there will be no conflict again between them. (was that not the truth?).
If the NFF had respected the rules of engagement in the game considering the NFF 2010 Statutes (with its defective terms) and the NPL autonomy (given the letter of FIFA stating the independence), this crisis won’t be there.
TRUTH NO. 3: FOLLOW YOUR HEART: This is one thing I appreciate and respect the man for despite our marked differences about his administration of Nigerian sports when he was in service. At personal terms, he once told me. I watched him say it publicly. His words: “If you listen to what people say you won’t perform. Believe in yourself. If you have a convinced position, stick to it irrespective of what anybody says. If you have a genuine course, stick to it. Follow it through.
INTERPRETATIONS: The foundation for the crisis in Nigerian football started with the fallacy of the statute moderation in the Makurdi congress. I stand to be corrected. If this root is not touched by the peace operators, then, their peace remains that of the graveyard like I earlier described it.
Two, architect of the protracted protest was the national Association of Nigerian Footballers (NANF) as personified by Harrison Jalla. Any route without these duo is a futile exercise. Go through their grouse(s). It pre-dated the coming of Aminu Maigari and his board. The issues remain the same. So, why must some people personalize the issues around the person of Jalla? Can we rubbish the issues?
Three, the coming of Olusegun Odegbami into the conflict remains out growth from the functions that Jalla started. The coming of Jarret Tenebe found expression in the same issues.
Four, the same Dr. Amos Adamu as primed by Dr. Rafiu Ladipo found a shortcut with the peace pact that led to the withdrawal of the of the proceedings in the Federal High Court, Lagos presided by Justice Okon Abang. The winner takes all syndrome killed the integrity that the Maigari board had.
Five, we are back on the same path we had passed before. They have a ‘new’ peace pact. Is this pact genuine and real? Can it lead to their destination? No.
THE VISIT TO ZURICH: I had my deep reservations. My convictions remain the same. Piecemeal peace pacts won’t get to the destination. Time will prove me right or wrong.
GENERAL DOMINIC ONEYA: One man I had never hidden my lack of respect for is General Dominic Oneya. He did not fail me again. Why did he sit for four months presiding over the Reform Committee and had to go to the CAF/FIFA people meeting to spurn all he had done? It is a sad commentary on what he represents in our football.One fact remains, the Oneya committee did a thorough job. Their report, to me, represents the very basis that will help the most genuine peace track. Anything short of this will take us back to the trenches. Not just the trenches but deeper trenches. The beneficiaries of the crisis are getting fatter pockets. Many of the mare sports journalists. The others mystically are in the corridors of the game. They will prefer to have a stalemate than have things go on rightly as it should lest they are smoked into oblivia. I rest my nerves.