Getting
rid of a sitting governor in Nigeria has never been difficult if those who want
him out go for it.
In
the 80s, when in secondary school, I read in the news of the removal of Alhaji
Balarabe Musa who went into the records books as the first Nigerian governor to
be impeached. He was governor of Kaduna State.
Between
then and now Nigeria has seen a couple of them- Diepreye Alamieyeseigha of
Bayelsa State, Ngige of Anambra who was actually removed by the courts and most
recently Murtala Nyarko.
Not
that impeaching a state governor had ever been as easy as ABC, but those who
wanted it eventually got their way.
Removing Kojo
Williams
In
Nigerian football, as far as my memory serves me, the first impeachment I witnessed
happened in 2000 when Anthony Kojo Williams was impeached by his board members
and replaced with Dominic Oneya.
It
was smooth, a meeting was called, a motion was moved and he was gone. There was
not much drama around it but that was just the beginning.
Removing Ibrahim
Galadima
Following
Nigeria’s failure to qualify for the Germany 2006 World Cup, some ‘stakeholders’
decided to remove him from office.

In December 2005, Galadima called for elections in Kano, his home city and the
elections conducted by Nduka Irabor was said to be the freest and fairest which
Galadima won.
Backed
by the Sports minister, Samaila Sambawa and recognized by FIFA, the
stakeholders fought on and Amos Adamu was “contracted” to put the
final mail on the coffin.
FIFA
secretary, Urs Linsi was allegedly compromised and he agreed to and backed a
kangaroo congress in Abuja that removed Galadima.
In
July 2006, Sani Lulu (Director of Sports FCT) polled 75 out of 97 votes as the
new NFA chairman, Lumumba Adeh was second with 16votes while Segun Odegbami had
6votes.
Removing Sani
Lulu
On
24th July 2008, at the Annual General Congress of the NFA in Markudi, the
congress changed the name of the NFA to NFF, and also changed the position of
the chairman to President and vice chairman to vice president.
Lulu
also made some other sweeping changes that would ensure it would be impossible
for him to lose an election.
The
elective congress was shifted to August after the World Cup in 2010 and those
eligible to vote were taken on an all expenses paid trip to South Africa for
the World Cup.
The
congress also decided that the State FA elective congresses will now be held in
November/December after the Federation elective congress in the same World Cup
year.
The
congress also amended the statutes such that the only way to get into the NFF would
be through the state FA.
Implications
The
implication of these changes gave the president sweeping powers as he now gets
to constitute both the electoral and appeals committee of an election he would
contest in.
It
also made it difficult to contest against the incumbent.
These
changes simply meant that the incumbent can put those loyal to him into the
state FAs to guarantee his return at the next elections.
And
to ensure he had their loyalties sorted, he sponsored over 300 people
(state  FA chairmen, secretaries and
other members) to the 2010 world cup.
After
the World Cup another ‘stakeholders group’ led by Chris Green removed the Lulu
led board.
On
July 4, 2010, the NFF president, lulu, his vice, Amanze Uchaegbulam and
technical committee chairman, Taiwo Ogunjobi were impeached from their
positions. Aminu Maigari and Obinna Ogba were appointed as president and vice
respectively.
Removing Maigari
As
it occurs every four years, Maigari started early to perfect plans to return.
He
continued Lulu’s tactic of taking congress members on trips abroad.
He
also banned any perceived political opponent to ensure he would be returned
without much problems.
Baribote
Rumsen got a fifteen year ban; Taiwo Ogunjobi was banned for ten years; Leye
Adepoju was banned for ten years.
Some
journalists, who did not “write in their favour” were also banned from covering
football activities or appearing at any Stadium.
One
that comes to mind is Jide Fashekun.
A
lot happened during the World Cup and it became obvious that Aminu Maigari
would be cast aside like others in the past.
Soon
after the World Cup ended, he was whisked away by security operatives for
questioning, then a court in Jos Plateau State removed the board and “forced”
the Sports Minister to appoint an acting General Secretary.
Then
FIFA suspended Nigeria and the court issue was vacated and things returned to
normalcy.
Maigari still
standing strong
The
Executive Committee met two weeks ago and dismissed the president as FIFA would
love it to happen but with the congress to ratify it a week later on July 31,
things began to change.
With
the board calling a congress, and members arriving in Abuja, the lobbying and
horse trading began a few days early.
However,
those who removed Maigari could not get enough members of the congress on their
side and there came about the fear of things turning against them.
IF
these members of congress cannot support your bid to ratify Maigari’s
dismissal, what is to say, they won’t turn around and even impeach you on the
day.
In
a smart move, the board met on Wednesday, July 30 and postponed the congress
indefinitely to buy time.
The
FA chairmen, knowing they now had the advantage held a meeting on Thursday,
July 31, returning Aminu Maigari as president and urging those who wanted him
out to wait until elections.
But
did they have a right to do what they did and was their decision binding on
anyone?
What
happened in Abuja on July 31 could not have been called a Congress meeting
because it was not properly convened as the statutes say.
But
Maigari’s removal had still not been ratified because the Congress did not meet
eventually.
Why can’t they
get Maigari out?
Apparently,
someone did not read the scripts of 2006 and 2010 and this issue has dragged on
for too long.
With
just three weeks left to the elective congress, does Maigari’s dismissal still
matter?
There
are issues that need to be resolved before the elections and the Congress must
meet to do these but with numbers not on the side of the powers that be, will
the congress sit anytime soon?
While
Maigari “stands strong” Nigeria’s football suffers.
A
crucial AFCON qualifying match comes up in four weeks but the national team has
no coach; there are rumours that the Federation Cup final scheduled to August
16 may be postponed and of course the elective congress may be postponed too.

Aminu
Maigaris still standing strong and proving a tough nut to crack because someone
did not read the scripts of 2006 and 2010

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