Following the ruling by the Court of Appeal on Thursday morning that ordered a stay-of-execution of an ex parte injunction secured a fortnight ago to stop the elections, the 78th Annual General Assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) will now go ahead as scheduled on Friday in Benin City, Edo State.
This will be alongside the elections of a new Executive Committee to steer the affairs of the nation’s supreme football–ruling body for the next four years.
More representatives of the world football-governing body, FIFA, arrived in Benin City just before noon on Thursday to monitor the elections.
Solomon Mudege, FIFA’s Head of Development Programmes for Africa, and Gelson Fernandes, a former Swiss international player who is FIFA’s Director for Africa, were in an excited mood.
Mudege said: “We are happy to be here and to witness another milestone in the history of Nigeria Football. We believe it is going to be an interesting Congress with the elections.”
Among the 10 persons jostling to succeed Amaju Pinnick as NFF president are current vice presidents, Seyi Akinwunmi (1st VP) and Shehu Dikko (2nd VP), as well as former Executive Committee Member and Chairman of Chairmen, Ibrahim Musa Gusau and former Executive Committee Member, Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande.
There is also an immediate past General Secretary, Musa Amadu, and Head of Safety and Security of the Confederation of African Football, Christian Emeruwa.
Also in the hunt for the exalted post are the Chairman of the FCT Football Association, Adam Mouktar Mohammed; former Nigeria international goalkeeper, Peterside Idah; former Chairman of Kano Pillars FC and respected technocrat, Abba Abdullahi Yola and UK-based David-Buhari Doherty.
A former NFF 1st Vice President, Amanze Uchegbulam, pulled out of the race during the week. Paul Yusuf from Plateau State was disqualified because of an invalid nomination; and the same axe fell on Marcellinus Anyanwu from Imo State, out of the race.
Three persons, viz current Member of Board, Felix Anyansi-Agwu; current Member of Board, Obinna Ogba and; Chinedu Okoye will battle for the post of 1st Vice President.
Current board member Yusuf Ahmed will replace Ibrahim Musa Gusau as Chairman of Chairmen, as he was the only one who obtained the form and was cleared for the position.
Contesting for seats on the Executive Committee from the South-East are Emeka Inyama (Abia State); Chikelue Iloenyosi (Anambra State); Karibe Pascal Ojigwe (Abia State); Jude Benjamin Obikwelu (Anambra State) and; Emmanuel Ochiagha (Imo State).
For North-central are Mohammed Alkali (Nasarawa State); Margaret Icheen (Benue State); Idris Abdullahi Musa (Kwara State); Daniel Amokachi (Benue State) and Benedict Akwuegbu (Plateau State).
Current board member Aisha Falode tops the list of candidates from the South-south region, with Kenneth Nwaomucha (Delta State); Gregory Abang (Cross River State); Roland Abu Omomoh (Edo State); Poubeni Ogun (Bayelsa State); Jarret Tenebe (Edo State) and Essien Udofot (Akwa Ibom State) also vying for seats from that zone.
Another current board member, Ganiyu Majekodunmi, leads the list of contestants for seats from the South-west, with Sunday Dele-Ajayi (Ondo State); Ayodeji Ogunjobi (Osun State); Olawale Gafar Liameed (Lagos State); Afolabi Taiwo Olugbenga (Osun State); Ayodeji Adegbenro (Ondo State) and Pelumi Jacob Olajengbesi (Osun State) is also in the race.
Vying for the North-east seat are a current board member Babagana Kalli (Borno State); Sajo Mohammed (Adamawa State), and Timothy Henman Magaji (Taraba State)
Current board member Sharif Rabiu Inuwa (Kano State) is the only candidate from the North-west.
The elections will begin after other items on the agenda for the 78th Annual General Assembly have been addressed.
Following the elections, the winners would be sworn in.