Odegbami, Okocha cleared for NFF elections

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Odegbami, Okocha cleared for NFF elections

Post  nex on Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:33 pm

Former Super Eagles captains, Segun Odegbami and Austin Okocha, were among the 44 candidates cleared yesterday by the electoral committee ahead of the Nigeria Football Federation election scheduled for August 21 in Abuja.

While Odegbami was cleared to contest for the presidency of the federation, Okocha was given the go-ahead to run as a member of the NFF board, alongside 34 other contestants. The clearance of Okocha by the electoral committee puts to rest eyebrows raised on the academic qualifications of the former Super Eagles skipper, who had submitted a 2009 National Examinations Council (NECO) certificate as proof of eligibility to contest. Following his submission of the document, there had been doubts as to its genuineness, a development that angered the former Nigerian international. Addressing journalists recently on the matter, Okocha said: “I quit secondary school in my pursuit for a professional football career and now that I’m retired and ready to serve the country I went to do my exams and the certificate awarded to me, if you have any doubts contact NECO for confirmation.”

Aside the duo of Okocha and Odegbami, other candidates cleared for seats in the NFF include, Christian Chukwu, a former captain and coach of the Eagles; Aminu Maigari, acting NFF President; Oyuiki Obaseki, former Nigeria Premier League Board Chairman; Fanny Amun, a former Acting Secretary General of the federation, Mutiu Adepoju, former Super Eagles player and current General Manager of 3SC sports club; Bukola Olapade, Commissioner for Sports in Ogun State; and Aisha Falode, a member of the Media Committee of the Confederation of African Football, amongst others. Nine aspirants who picked up forms failed to return them, while two other aspirants were disqualified by the committee. Those disqualified are Alkasim Madoka and Mukhtar Ahmed, both from Kano State. No reasons were given for their disqualification.

The build up to the NFF election has been dogged by controversies with some candidates calling for its postponement as they argued that the state football association elections ought to come before the national elections. One of the presidential candidates, Odegbami who is spearheading this call said: “It is wrong to bring in people who are not eligible to determine the new leadership of the NFF. We have been talking about this for long and I believe if we want to get it right, we must start from the states since all the candidates also got their nominations from the states. It is absolutely illegal to allow these people at the elections. The whole exercise will be in vain if we do not have new state FA Chairmen in place before the elections.”

However, NFF President, Aminu Maigari, has insisted that elections into State Football Associations will only come after the new board has been elected into office. “When we have finished our tenure that can be done,” he said. “But for now, we must follow due process. The state elections will come after the NFF elections.”

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