Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Melvin Amaju Pinnick, who was yesterday re-elected for a second term in office, has pledged to reform the federation’s governance structure to make it more effective.
He also plans to initiate reforms in the statute to ensure last peace in Nigerian football.
Pinnick got an overwhelming majority in the elections held in Katsina yesterday, beating his opponents, including former NFF president, Aminu Maigari, former NFF Secretary General, Taiwo Ogunjobi and club proprietor, Chinedu Okoye by 44 votes to eight, two and zero respectively.
He thus became the second person since the late Father Dennis Slattery in 1957 to win a second term in office through direct election.
Speaking shortly after being sworn in, Pinnick thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the Chief of Staff to the President, the DG, Department of State Services and the Inspector General of Police for their tremendous support for the board.
He described all the contestants as winners, saying there is no victor, no vanquished.
He added: “We just have to do what we need to do and first of the things we want to do is to initiate reforms for our statute.
There are some things we need to capture in our statute that will reflect true reconciliation.
“I am happy that the election is not about me. It is about the executive committee and the congress that believes in us.
“I want to thank the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for providing the enabling environment for these elections.
I need to say this, I am from a micro-minority tribe in Nigeria, a tiny ethnic group of less than 400,000 people and I came to almighty Katsina, in the far north, to win an election.
What more do you need to know that the government or the president provided a level-playing field for everybody. This is very instructive.
“People questioned our choice of Katsina.
But we reminded them that Katsina is part of Nigeria, it is the home of patriots and today they demonstrated that they can provide a level playing field for everybody.”
Pinnick promised to drive accelerated development of Nigerian football, saying the elections “just rekindles my belief in Nigeria.”
He enthused: “This is the turning point in Nigerian football.
People should now know that we need to develop football beyond the narrow confines of ethnicity, primitivism, nonchalance, and mediocrity.
“We respectfully ask for more support as we start a new tenure, during which we aim to consolidate on our vision of building a sustainable football culture for our dear country, and continue the great march towards ensuring financial independence for the NFF.”