Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos
The Directorate of State, once again yesterday confirmed the presidential directive assigned to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice by President Muhammadu Buhari, that football in Nigeria should be governed by Fifa Statutes, when officers of the DSS for the second time in 37 days regained the secretariat of the Nigeria Football Federation in Abuja after the invasion by a rival group led by Ambassador Chris Giwa. The Giwa group had earlier been bundled out on July 23 after their initial invasion on July 2, 2018.
The General Secretary of the Fifa recognized NFF, Dr Muhammed Sanusi, confirmed this moring at about 6.00am that the DSS had regained the NFF secretariat.
He said: At the moment, I am happy to inform you that, we are back on track. The DSS are in the office and they asked me to nominate officers who will identify our staff and I gave them the names of Bola Oyeyode and Ademola Olajire. We want to say a very big thank to President Muhammadu Buhari for reassigning the DSS to restore us to the secretariat for the second time in 37 days.
The rival football federation, the August 26, 2014 NFF Congress Football Federation, had stormed the Wuse Zone 7 secretariat of the FIFA recognized NFF at about noon in search of the official stamp of the country’s football federation, but met some resistance.
The group fond of storming the Glass House especially when the president and General Secretary are away on international assignments, came with armed mobile policemen who gave them protection exploiting the opportunity of a vacuum created by the sudden withdrawal of the DSS officials on duty following the sacking of the Department’s Director General, Lawan Daura, by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday August 7, 2018. The group was first sacked on July 23, 2018 after their initial take over of the office on July 2, 2018 the same day the Nigerian delegation to the Russia 2018 World Cup returned home.
The invasion led by three members of the factional group; Sani Ferma, Dr Shehu Adamu and Yahaya Adama, attempted to take possession of the football secretariat. The trio was joined by eight other stalwarts of the Giwa faction which include a former board member of the NFF Rumson Baribote who rose to the top of Nigerian football through a victory in the NFF Arbitration Panel and Ben Agary.
During their planned invasion at the Glass House, the eleven-member group aided by unauthorized armed mobile policemen moved from one office to another, including the office of the NFF’s General Secretary.