Member of NFF Reforms Committee Resigns in Stunning Fashion

Ahmed Shuaibu-Gara Gombe, a former Gombe FA chairman yesterday resigned his membership of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Reforms Committee, faulting the inclusion of some people “whose presence would undermine any meaningful reforms in Nigerian football administration.”

The NFF set up the reforms committee which was inaugurated on December 2, 2018, to work out modalities for an overhaul of the country’s football.

In his letter addressed to the NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, Gombe agreed that the federation was ripe for reforms. He, however, indicated that the composition of its members would not bring about the genuine changes which the federation really needs.

“The leadership (chairman and vice chairman) consists of two executive committee members who are currently under investigation by the Presidential Committee on the Recovery of Public Property,” said Gombe.

He added: “I have also noticed that the executive arm of government and the National Assembly are not represented. By virtue of the NFA Act 2004, which is still subsisting, I do not know of any meaningful reform to be achieved without the executive and legislative arms of government being involved at the initial stage of the committee’s assignment.”

In reaction to the development, NFF first vice president, Seyi Akinwunmi, who also serves as the chairman of the committee, accepted Gombe’s decision.

He said he would not react to the reasons given by Gombe, “as it is his prerogative to believe what he chooses and interpret statements and situations as he deems fit. Suffice it to say that there are non-factual statements made therein. But that is immaterial now.”

He said further: “There is nothing wrong, in my opinion, for anyone to resign from a committee if he deems fit. So, I will not engage in any exchange of words over the resignation.

“There is also nothing wrong for anyone to post the letter here (although it got to the press before even I, as chairman, received it). What is wrong is jumping to conclusions after hearing one side of a story. I see some of us, here, have already done that.

“Regarding the composition of the committee and its headship; be assured that a lot of thought was put into it, and the structure regarding the composition is guided by current NFF statutes. Note that the committee is an NFF adhoc committee and we are bound to follow our laws. It should not be confused with a government committee.”

Akinwunmi pleaded with the football community to give the reforms body the benefit of the doubt, saying: “Part of the problem is that many people think that once it is not done the way they believe it should be done, then it means it’s not done properly.

“Various committees have been populated by people and in a manner we may have approved but whose work has come to naught. We want to do things differently,” he added.