The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has confirmed Sen. Obinna Ogba (PDP-Ebonyi Central) as the duly re-elected Chairman of the Ebonyi Football Association.
Chidi Okenwa, member of the NFF Executive Committee who represented the federation’s President, Amaju Pinnick, said the election which produced Ogba as re-elected Chairman, met requirements of the federation’s statutes.
Okenwa, who is the Enugu State Football Association (FA) Chairman, said the NFF had received a letter from the Ebonyi Sports Ministry calling for the election’s postponement.
“The letter was dated May 20 and we also received a corresponding letter from the Ebonyi FA on the same issue dated May 30.
“We also have the reply from the NFF dated May 31 and it is based on the last paragraph of the reply that that we are here to monitor this election.
“It reads: ‘consequently, your demand for the postponement of the election is hereby declined as the election scheduled for June 1 will go on as approved by the NFF’,” he said.
Okenwa said the penultimate paragraph in the reply notes that the letter from the Ebonyi sports ministry would amount to an interference.
“The appeals committee has complied with provisions of the Ebonyi FA statutes and guidelines for elections into the executive board and standing on this platform we are empowered to monitor this election,” he said.
Amanze Uchegbulam, the Chairman of the South East Zone Football Stakeholders, urged the zone’s football family to settle all differences internally as there would always be disagreements in every organised setting.
“The days of government interference in football are over and if FIFA can make former President Goodluck Jonathan reverse his decision on the nation’s football in 2010, no one cannot reverse such decision.
“We have statutes and guidelines governing football in the country and whoever is aggrieved should follow the stipulated guidelines in lodging his complaints,” he said.
Chairman of the state’s FA Electoral Committee, Onyebuchi Ekuma, said all the elected officials satisfied all requirements which qualified them to contest the election.
“The committee duly cleared nine contestants to contest for various positions which include the chairmanship, vice chairmanship and seven membership positions.
“The 16 delegates who served as the electorate at the elections were drawn from the 13 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state and other bodies such as the coaches, referees and club representative associations.
Ogba, in his acceptance speech, pledged to improve on the structures put in place during his previous reign and sought the collaboration of all stakeholders to achieve this goal.
“The board will liaise with the government, relevant stakeholders and associations to move football in the state forward to sustain the strides recorded in the sport in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that popular Nollywood actor Andy Chukwu was re-elected as the Vice-chairman while seven other board members were also elected.
NAN reports that Ogba has been the Chairman of the state FA for the past 10 and the furore which greeted his re-election bid made the government to seek the election’s postponement.