The Department of State Security (DSS) on Monday morning reportedly acting on presidential orders reinstated the Amaju Pinnick board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
A source said the DSS operatives cleared the offices and asking all the staff and those occupying various offices since July 2 to vacate immediately.
The Secretary General of the NFF, Dr. Muhammed Sanusi, a member of Pinnick’s board resumed hours later. He was reportedly led to his office by officers of the DSS.
“I am back to my office, and the Pinnick-led board is back,’’ Sanusi was quoted as saying.
“When the DSS officials came in, they refused to allow anyone to enter the premises. But I came in and spoke with the staff and urged them to be law-abiding.
“I told them to bear in mind that they are civil servants and should not get involved in the politics. Thereafter, I ushered all into their offices and everyone is going about their duties,’’ he added.
Pinnick’s office was also cleared in readiness for the resumption of the Amaju Pinnick who had just returned to Nigeria from Morocco after supervising the CAF Round Table symposium with the five African representatives to the 2018 Russia World Cup reviewing the continent’s poor showing at the World Cup.
The NFF boss was later quoted as saying: “We must give all the credit to our President, Muhammadu Buhari, for acting to restore the leadership of the federation and saving the nation the embarrassment.
“Even as the situation persisted, I was very positive about his patriotic commitment to the best interest of the nation and his clarity of judgment to bring order to bear. It is said that the sheep cannot be suffering the pangs of birth tied to the stake while elders are around. He has demonstrated this fatherliness in so many ways across various sectors and now football is the latest beneficiary. We thank God for his life and for giving him to us.
“By his intervention, the nation has been saved the embarrassment, the world football community has been reassured of the high sense of responsibility of the government of Nigeria as a member of the international community and hope is brought back to thousands of Nigeria youths engaged in football as the various national teams can proceed on their various programmes without apprehension, the various leagues which were stopped under the circumstance can now get back to action while the confidence of the various sponsors, partners and investors in Nigeria football has been restored.”
Pinnick however insisted that there are no winners nor losers in the resolution of the crisis.
“Football is about people, about unity. The game belongs to the fans and the pride belongs to the nation. The people are deprived when football is inhibited but with the action of the President, Nigerians can now enjoy what they love most.”
In a related development, the National leadership of the Nigeria Football Referees Association, the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers and the Nigeria Football Coaches Association, on behalf of its members express unreserved appreciation to President Buhari.
The NFF crisis took a new turn on July 2, when the Chris Giwa’s faction took over the glass house secretariat of the NFF citing a court judgment.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung had ordered the NFF to comply with the Supreme Court judgment that purportedly overturned the September 30, 2014 election of Pinnick.
The court also ordered that the status quo be maintained at the Glass House.
Dalung said the directive followed a written notification by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice requesting the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to ensure compliance.