A former Special Assistant to the sports minister, Opukiri Jones Ere has told Chris Giwa to stop parading himself as president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as he never won any election into the board of the nation’s soccer federation.
Jones Ere was the Special Assistant (technical) to immediate past Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo, who was in charge in 2014 when the NFF drama played out in Abuja.
Jones Ere told newsmen at the weekend that members of the NFF Congress, who were supposed to vote at Chida Hotels, Abuja in the botched election Giwa is clinging to, were nowhere near the hotel when Giwa was declared the winner.
“Who were those that voted in the election? Some of us who saw it all can not continue to keep quiet. I was Danagogo’s SA technical then. I can tell you that the federal government then didn’t recognize the election, FIFA on its part did not and members of the NFF congress didn’t. Congress members were at the police station to get Aminu Maigari out of police net when the so-called election took place. I saw it all and my position is that it is wrong in the first place for anybody to use what happened that night at Chida Hotels to hold the nation and its football to ransom. Enough is enough,” Jones Ere said.
Jones Ere stated that both the sports ministry and FIFA endorsed and monitored the Warri election, which Amaju Pinnick won, stressing that rather than fight Amaju Pinnick, the incumbent Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung should have been celebrating him for what he has succeeded in achieving in African and world football.
“Pinnick is today the second most powerful person in African football. He has risen to FIFA level and he didn’t just go alone. He has succeeded in carrying many Nigerians along. To me, Pinnick should be celebrated rather than being crucified,” Jones Ere said.