Pinnick brawl a resigning offence


The declaration of Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Pinnick on Wednesday was that “the NFF is happy that the whole family remains united and committed to the attainment of more successes.”

Only one word to describe what Pinnick had to say. Bullshit. Nigeria deserves better. Well, the Nigerian people do. Nigerian football is another matter because you get what you vote for but more of that later.

Pinnick's statement was placed on the Nigeria Football Federation website. One expects such organs to toe the party line a la Pravda but with pictures leaked all over the media this was something that could not be ignored.

Pinnick conveniently glossed over the fact that he and Chris Giwa had literally squared off against each other in a meeting room, having to be pulled apart by Sports Minister Solomon Dalung and others.

A physical skirmish between Pinnick, the elected President, and Giwa, the man who would be president and thought that he had achieved just that after the annulled elections of 26 August 2014. Giwa has been a brooding and smouldering presence on the sidelines ever since. It was pretty unedifying to see them come to blows.

There is a much reported arrogance in Pinnick confirmed by his statement. He's the president of the NFF, in a currently unassailable position given his anointing by FIFA and as far as he is concerned unanswerable to no-one. Some say it's an attitude borne from his independence derived from oil wealth.

Combine this attitude with a  public office that has an electorate that is not the people but a cabal of self-interested football politicians steeped in the traditions of Nigerian political life and you have a recipe for disaster.

If you think that I'm wrong about this arrogance then why no apology from Pinnick. Surely he should have been saying he had made an error of judgement, explained the circumstances and promised that he would not let it happen again.

Naturally that didn't happen. This is Nigeria. And, now that is not an option, that's why neither Pinnick nor Giwa will do what they should after dragging Nigerian football to a new low. Both should resign as by engaging in fisticuffs they have shown they aren't fit for even the lowest of public offices.

When an individual puts themselves forward for public office they should be elevating themselves to a standard higher than that by which you and I are judged. Have an affair and it's not the affair per se that is wrong, but what you are saying is that you lack the judgement to make good decisions. Same if you get involved in a physical fight. Do you have the judgement for lofty positions when your behaviours are no better than those of a playground bully.

Unfortunately such standards are not part of Nigerian public life. Neither Pinnick nor Giwa care less about their public image. They care about power and feathering their own nest. The electorate is no bother. They only have to worry about that handful of votes and there is plenty of time for both to cultivate  their support. This is brown envelope politics at its best and why honest men can't make it in Nigerian football politics.

Resignation  or falling on your sword seldom happen at the Glass House and are unlikely to make an appearance any time soon.

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