Fred Edoreh, Lagos
It was interesting to see Otunba Sunday Dele Ajayi take seat in a meeting of the Chris Giwa faction of the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation held on Tuesday, July 17, 2018, serving as the Chairman of the Communique Drafting Committee and later addressing the press on behalf of the group.
The wonder is that on August 29, 2014, after the sham Giwa election of August 26, Dele Ajayi vehemently dissociated himself from the group, stating he never participated in the purported Giwa election and denying ever sending any apology for being absent at their first meeting as the group claimed.
In a statement personally signed by him and published in various national newspapers, Ajayi explained that as a signatory to the FIFA Statutes and a believer in the rule of law, it was wrong for the Giwa group to have associated him with their process which he described as clear illegality.
“I hereby state that I understand the statutes guiding elections into the NFF and will not in any way flout those rules or support any individual or group of persons seen to have done so. I did not participate in any purported election. I am still preparing for my election which I believe will come up on September 4, 2014, as proposed by the NFF and approved by FIFA,” he had said.
The FIFA approved election eventually held on September 30 and Ajayi was conspicuously present at the Warri venue at which he was voted into the Executive Committee as a representative of the South West. He has since then worked with the Amaju Pinnick led board in the past four years in which he held several committee positions and headed several project assignments.
It was therefore curious to see him at the meeting of the Giwa faction after his vaunted and demonstrated position on the illegality of the group and having served for full four years tenure with the Pinnick committee.
Similar to Otunba Dele’s double standard is the disposition of Senator Obinna Ogba who is a principal actor and one of the plaintiff in the Giwa suits against the Amaju group. Notwithstanding opposition, the Distinguished Senator had found it difficult to accordingly reject the benefits from the Pinnick Executive.
Ogba, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, was quick to accept his nomination by the Pinnick board into the CAF Beach Soccer Committee just as he received and worked on recommendations on the NFF Bill from the Pinnick leadership. This is in addition to enjoying sponsorships to various trips for which he received Estacodes and allowances from the Pinnick led board which he maintains is illegal and remains in litigation against.
While it is true that honour is becoming scarcer among some breed of men, it used to be that what you say you forbid, you should, honourably, not divide with your teeth, talk less of chewing some chunk.
But, somehow, these explain why we are where we are.