By Joy Ekeke
National Sports Commission, NSC, says it wishes to put the record straight on the reason for the arrest of former president of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Alhaji Aminu Maigari last Tuesday in Abuja by men of the Directorate of State Security Services, DSS.
Alhaji Maigari, it could be recalled, was picked up by men of the DSS in Abuja shortly before the Congress of the NFF and some Nigerians insinuated that the Bauchi-born administrator was arrested to prevent him from presiding over the Congress.
A statement by Patrick Omorodion, personal assistant (Media) to the Sports Minister/NSC Chairman, Dr Tammy Danagogo said the former acting President of the NFF, Chief Mike Umeh had, immediately after the fire outbreak which raised part of the NFF secretariat in Abuja, made a report of sabotage by “some people who are desperate to perpetuate themselves in power and called on the police to investigate the incident.”
The arrest of Maigari and some other officials of the NFF by the DSS is part of its routine to investigate the fire incident and interrogate some suspects based on the report of officials of the NFF and therefore had nothing to do with the NSC as it was being erroneously insinuated.
It is a fact that arson is a serious offence in Nigeria’s criminal law and anybody who is suspected to be involved, no matter how highly placed, must be investigated to verify his or her culpability or otherwise and appropriate sanction meted to such individual.
Meanwhile, the NSC also wants to state that it is not unaware of the crisis bedeviling football administration in Nigeria and is assuring all football stakeholders that the Sports Minister will leave nothing to chance to ensure that peace returns to the NFF.
According to Dr. Danagogo, the NSC is still studying the situation and “at the appropriate time we will say something about it in order for our football to move forward.”
He added that “already I have started calling the parties involved in the dispute to know their grievances and find a way out of the crisis because it is not healthy for the development of our football.”