Monday, March 4, 2013

NFF ban of journalists: Impotent SWAN, Proud NUJ

NFF arrogant after being begged
During the week, the NFF in its characteristic and mischievous manner slammed a ban on two sports journalists, Messrs Ezeocha Nze of The Guardian Newspapers and Romanus Ugwu who writes for all-sport daily publication, Soccerstar, (a publication on the stable of TheSun) from its programmes, activities and events, until further notice. It was amusing to laugh at an organisation banning someone who is not your member! Idiocy in simplicita.
NUJ made me proud to be a journalist: Since the immediate constituency of the reporters, FCT SWAN went to bed, having been in romance with the NFF, they lost the ball to act to protect their members. The Abuja Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by Comrade Chuks Ehirim reacted by giving the NFF a 24-hour ultimatum to rescind its decision or face the full wrath of the union.
Then, the national leadership of SWAN as if they were reluctantly pushed gave the NFF one week to rescind the decision though in a harsh statement.
Whilst, I gathered that the local SWAN went begging their benefactors to “forgive their colleagues because of them.” (I hope this is not too true). No wonder the arrogant statement signed by the NFF Secretary General, Musa Amodu.
Following a meeting with the leadership of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria and its FCT chapter in Abuja on Thursday morning, the NFF said it had decided to overlook the attitude of the two reporters for the sake of its cordial relationship with and respect for the professional standing of the overwhelming majority of members of the chapter in particular and the Nigeria sporting media in general.
“The NFF President has opted to overlook the hate campaign of the two persons in question and rather focus on the onerous task of moving Nigeria football to higher heights,” the NFF General Secretary, Barrister Musa Amadu, said.
It was obvious that the Glass House saw that their game was up. Two, they never expected to get this quality of negative backlash. They had thought that since it was ‘their boys’ that are in the FCT Executive and in the national body, they won’t talk.
The NFF board rescinded their animalistic decision out of frustration, especially when they saw that they were heading for a total war, capable of consuming them in the long run. Thanks to the able and capable NUJ. For this act, I shall resume paying my dues now that I know I have a union that will protect me in trouble unlike the docile leadership we had in the last Council of the NUJ.
Unpopular NFF running a fresh unpopular war: If the NFF goons were smart, arising from the way and manner they had lost face in the Super Eagles AFCON victory in South Africa, how Stephen Keshi took the shine off them, how the Federal Government overlooked them (not a single mention of the NFF at the Presidential hosting of the team) and how corporate Nigeria had not reckoned with them in the celebration of the victory. It is enough disgrace.
I think while doing the psycho-analysis of the NFF conduct, it was the heap of frustrations that made them acted so irrationally against the two reporters who joined to report what they thought were secrets of the almost impeachment of the President, Aminu Maigari.
The death of investigative reportage: It is clear from the incidents leading to the ban that most of the reporters in Abuja only report what the NFF and top goons in sports want. A press release regime. The few who do investigative reporting got the story that got the two reporters the ban of the NFF. Ironically, the reporters had kept an all night vigil to get the reports which they published.
What vexed the NFF goons is not whether what the reporters reported were lies but that what they thought they had sealed as a ‘family affair’ leaked (ala wikileak or is it vaticanleak) and got to the public domain.
Thought I saw wrongly: Osaretin Emuze, respected voice and veteran sport writer had this to say: “Can you imagine common NFF Secretary barring two sports writers from its activities. Wonders shall never end. Who is he in the catalogue of men? So he wants every writer to follow them sheepishly, as some are doing right now. What a shame. SWAN EXCO, You have been rubbished.

1 comment:

  1. Patrick Omorodion, Vanguard, LagosMarch 4, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Hi Jide, when I read the story of the NFF banning two of our colleagues, I just laughed and said it was all rubbish. My pain however was the fact that it was given the publicity it doesn't deserve. I thought they will include you and I as two of their haters too. FIFA banned British journalist, Andrew Jennings from its activities, but it didn't stop him from writing about the corruption in the house of FIFA. One does not need to go to the NFF secretariat to get stories on football. You can sit at home and get stories concerning football. Most of the revelations from the Eagles Nations Cup camp in South Africa where not got from the team's hotel in Nespruit, Rustenberg, Durban or Johanesburg but from Abuja and Lagos by journalists at home. I can't remember when last I visited the NFF Abuja office, even when they were in Lagos, I could count on my finger tips how many times I visited their Ogunlana office. They are all sulking now because Keshi gave them an upper cut when they least expected it. Heard that one Board member who was in South Africa was blabbing that Keshi didn't contribute anything to Eagles victory and shouldn't be eulogised. He went on to say that when the Board members asked Keshi what were his plans against Cote d'Ivoire, he said he had none and the NFF then called the players and told them to go play out their hearts since Keshi had no game plan for the quarter final match? What a stupid statement from an estacode chasing official who had no business in South Africa. As if that was not bad enough, Anyansi-Agwu came out with his own analogy and name calling. He posited that the bogus bonus the NFF paid Keshi and the players may have been the magic that propelled the players to beat Cote d'Ivoire. Anyansi-Agwu reeled out the bonus Keshi earned for working but failed to reel out the estacode he and his fellow Board members earned for doing nothing better than bad-mouthing Keshi and either shopping or gallivanting the entire South Africa. People like Anyansi-Agwu shouldn't get near football because they never add anything to the game. He was just a tool in the hand of former Governor Orji in using Enyimba to achieve a selfish aim. Otherwise let anyone tell me what the former Governor has added to Enyimba or football in general since he left office. What has Anyansi-Agwu himself contributed in lifting Enyimba from its pitiable state in the league? Or he thinks we don't remember his answer to the question he was asked on why he sacked a coach that led Enyimba to a league victory? I hope someone in Nigeria would be bold like Blatter one day to speak or expose the devils in our football. Senate President, David Mark came close to it but he failed to hit the nail on its head. Nigerian football is greater than all the so-called NFF Board members who think we don't know they feed fat on football. Indeed, the Nigerians Feeding on Football, NFF.