Dapo Sotuminu, Lagos
The Delta State Football Association Elective Congress from all indications may hold on two scheduled dates in the Delta State capital, Asaba, if the plans of the state Sports Commission Chairman, Mr. Tonobuk Okowa, are anything to go by.
Some Delta FA members, who preferred anonymity, disclosed that the Chairman has picked another date for the Elective Congress different from the decisions taken by the state FA members. This the members described as unacceptable, as it is against the plans of the Delta State FA statutorily authorised to organise the Elective Cngress.
The state FA members added that, against the Statutes of the Nigeria Football Federation, which authorised the State FA’s to organise their own elections with the state commissioners or commissions only acting observers, the Delta State Sports Commission boss has hijacked the process of elections in Delta State.
“The Sports Commission boss has unilaterally fixed dates for the state elections three times without the input of members of the state football association. In quick succession, he first picked June 4, 2019 and later changed the date to June 5, 2019, before he settled for June 9, 2019, when it was discovered that the two earlier dates fell on public holidays. All these were done without consulting the state FA board by the Delta Sports Commission chairman.”
The Delta FA members disclosed that, they officially met in a scheduled meeting ahead of the Elective Congress and agreed to hold their elections on June 13, 2019 in Asaba 2019 with the supervision of the Electoral Committee appointed to carry out the exercise.
“Despite following a time table as endorsed by the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Okowa, still went ahead to fix his own date. According to the NFF Statutes, the state FA must be run independent of the state Sports Commission or sport ministry.
“This is unacceptable and we don’t have any option than to alert the Nigeria Football Federation and other football stakeholders in Nigeria that, the elections in Delta may become problematic due to the dictatorial tendencies of the Delta State Sports Commission Chairman.”
The members noted that it is evident that impunity like these most definitely contributed to the retrogression of Warri Wolves Football Club, the pride of Delta football in the last four years as the club in the last four years.
“The club has been retrogressive, static and a shadow of its old glory days, from a club that represented Nigeria in continental club championships, to the one that got firmly rooted to the lower division.”
The members also lamented that it was such uncoordinated activities in Delta sports that witnessed the disappearance of the prize monies for the 2016 edition of the Delta FA Cup.
“All these have kept interested Delta state sons and daughters away from contributing their positive quotas to the development of sports in the state compared to what is happening in other states.
The members also revealed that they have given their full supports to the former Vice Chairman and ex international, Edema Fuludu, to become the new Chairman of the Delta FA in the June 13, 2019 elections slated for Asaba, but the Sports Commission chairman is planning to impose another candidate, Mr. Lucky Sunday on them, but this they have totally rejected.