Former NFF President, Aminu Maigari
Former President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maigari declared yesterday that he has no intention of contesting for the federation’s top position in 2018.
Specifically, Maigari, whose record as NFF president remains the best ever in terms of achievements in Nigerian football history, said he would not go into a contest with the incumbent Amaju Pinnick, who he described as ‘my son.’
There has been some underground campaign by people believed to be tempting Maigari to join the race to the NFF Glass House in 2018.
Some of the ‘campaign messages’ for Maigari on social media yesterday read: Aminu Maigari I know: Maigari is a man of integrity. A man with a success story, unassuming, humble. A man, who can never abandon the ship midway in the sea. A man with vision, a great mobilizer of men. A man his word is his bond. A man, who keeps his promises. A man that will never forget where rain started beating him. A man that will never throw away the ladder that took him up. We are anxiously waiting for your return.”
But Maigari washed his hands off such campaign, saying that he has no ambition of returning to the NFF in 2018. Speaking with The Guardian on phone, Maigari said: “I am not nursing such ambition of contesting for the NFF presidency in 2018. The man, who is occupying the position at the moment, Amaju Pinnick is my son. And as a father, my duties are to guild and advise him whenever he is not getting it right. He is doing very well, and I don’t have the aim of going into a contest with ‘my son’ in 2018.”
Pinnick’s entry into the NFF presidential race in 2014 came at almost the 11th hour following confirmation that Maigari, who was under intense pressure from the then government, had opted out of the race. Before then, Pinnick had openly campaigned for Maigari to continue overseeing football administration in Nigeria. It was only after Maigari backed out that Pinnick jumped into the fray and against all odds, defeated other contestants like Taiwo Ogunjobi, Dominic Iorfa, Amanze Uchegbulam and Mike Umeh in the election.
To many football fans, Pinnick’s three-year old tenure as NFF president has witnessed a tremendous improvement, particularly in the area of corporate sponsorship of Nigerian football.