Rascals Come Rascals Go, Football Remains by Jide Olaniran
It is that time again when trouble “sleep and yanga go wake am,’ thanks to the Afro Beats legend, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, for that evergreen inspiration. The rascals that trouble our football every four-year cycle have started preparing for war again; the World Cup is here, it’s time to share the booty and thereafter get down to the dirty business of elections into the Nigeria Football Federation.
All is fair in war no matter how the victory is got, so I am not surprised by the surreptitious moves made by some elements to set a selfish narrative by the Supreme Court judgement delivered some weeks ago.
The desperate lot who want power at any cost invaded the social media space to peddle their sinister agenda. For those who can read in between the lines, beyond the argument of the merit or demerit of the case in question is the smokescreen of those who want to rattle the football federation ahead of the coming elections and those who want to be part of the Russia 2018 jamboree as it has become the custom.
The Supreme Court judgement is just timely for those whose stock in trade is to blackmail the federation into the World Cup bazaar;, to them, they have not been carried along all this while and it is time they shared in the dollar rain which comes every four years but leaves the football federation account in red after the tournament.
Anyway, now that they have exhumed a supposedly dead case, we should ask how we got here in the first place. It is not far to see; football in Nigeria is predominantly administered by rascals who are mostly jobless and self-seeking.
The madness that started in Abuja in 2014 and ended in Warri, can best be described as scheming of power mongers who had the privilege of deploring weak state apparatus to outwit one another., The two elections were built on sinking sand by omission and commission; while the supposed winner of the Abuja election was hoping to use political affiliation, weak and compromised institutions of the state to perpetuate himself in office, the Warri faction knew that the ultimate authority resided in Zurich and they played the card to remain in office till date.
Are you still surprised that most times when these rascals throw Nigerian football into crisis, it is usually the court of law in Nigeria on the one hand versus the authority and position of FIFA on the other hand. The rascals who flaunt FIFA ban at any given opportunity even if it is a case of abuse of office versus the rascals who question FIFA’s supremacy over the court of a sovereign nation on a strictly football matters when it is written in black and white.
As another election season approaches, we are bound to see competing shenanigans all over again. If the re-trial order given by the Supreme Court is anything to go by, then the rascals will have a field day.
I won’t be surprised if Yahaya Adama and Chris Giwa who are banned by FIFA returns to the trenches while their co-traveler, Obinna Ogba, who has managed to escape the FIFA ban for obvious reasons oscillate between the devil and the deep blue sea.
Obinna Ogba, who is the Chairman of Senate Committee on Sports, ought to be under FIFA ban for taking football matters to court because the case to be re-tried by the High Court is at the instance of Yahaya Adama and Obinna Ogba who is enjoying the privilege of office as a lawmaker and a CAF Futsal committee appointment facilitated by fellow rascals who indulge renegades rather than whip them into line.
Unfortunately, when the rascals are let loose during the electoral process, they always find a co-conspirator in the sports ministry who is either clueless or compromised; a critical look at what is going on now has shown that we are not likely to have a different scenario from the past as the man in charge of sports does not have the capacity to rise above the rascaldom.
The red beret-wearing comrade is already engrossed in his own agenda raising fund for a God-knows contingent that have no business at the FIFA World Cup in Russia. Why is he organising a World Cup fundraiser? Is it For the players, the Football Federation, the Ministry of Sports, the National Assembly or the citizens? This question is yet to elicit a response from him. To him, this is what the rascals before him did so the status quo must remain despite the Change mantra of the government that appointed him.
We are waiting to see how long he is willing to go in taking advantage of unsuspecting Nigerians.
Nobody should deceive us with“every kobo spent will be accounted for”slogan, we have heard enough of that, that is what we were told before the All Africa Games, The Rio Olympics, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games to mention a few. We are still waiting for the books to be turned in for scrutiny till date.
Here is a reminder to all the rascals that the goodwill football is enjoying from corporate Nigeria at the moment is unprecedented and should not be frittered away on the altar of self-aggrandisement. Football administration is a serious business terrain where charlatans must not be allowed to hold sway.
Let’s keep our football away from rascals.