• ‘We can’t recognise factional leaders’
• Ladipo, others hold emergency congress today
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) came down hard on the two warring factions of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club yesterday, ordering them to stay away from the Godswill Akpabio Stadium in Uyo, venue of the Super Eagles versus Bafana Bafana AFCON qualifier on Saturday.
The NFF has equally asked the two warring leaders, Vincent Okumagba and Rev. Samuel Ikpea to step down with immediate effect to pave way for fresh elections, just as it called on the President General of the body, Dr. Rafiu Ladipo to also quit honourably.
But in a reaction yesterday, Ladipo, who is the chairman of the Board of Trustees, said the Supporters Club was not a government property, adding that it was wrong for the NFF to dictate how it should run its affairs.
NFF President, Amaju Pinnick said yesterday in Lagos that there seemed to be irreconcilable differences between the two groups, adding that such unhealthy situation could lead to bad result for the Eagles in Uyo.
“I have made it clear that the Supporters Club should not come to Uyo for this match on Saturday. I have also told Ladipo to resign and conduct a fresh election. The two warring leaders, Ikpea and Okumagba should also resign because we can’t continue to work with factional leaders,” Pinnick told The Guardian on his way from a football event held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island yesterday.
Contacted yesterday, Okumagba said: “I have not heard of such directive from the NFF. On his part, Ladipo said: “If the NFF says we should not come to Uyo for the match, we will stay away, but I want whoever is giving such directive to know that the Supporters Club is a non-governmental organisation. It is registered with the CAC and we have been paying our monthly subscription for the past 62 years.”The Guardian learnt that the call by the NFF for fresh election has prompted the leaders, including Ladipo to call for an emergency congress today in Lagos.