How did your regime handle the issue of government interference in the administration at NFF? As a civil servant who was used to ways government is run, it was not too diffi cult for me. I applied wisdom to get result. In any relationship you fi nd yourself, you must have good relationship with government, for there is virtually nothing you can do without the government at this level. Th e main challenge we had was that there were some persons
in the system who are bent on sabotaging government’s policies and programmes, including those that had to do with our administration. But we thank God that we can breathe fresh air under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, who has demonstrated to all that he stands for truth and fairness. President Buhari has demonstrated that he is a leader committed to fi ghting corruption, to ensuring security and indivisibility of Nigeria, and prosperity of all. On my part, I wish to thank him for creating enabling environment which has made it possible for me to develop my pet project, FOSLA Academy , through which I am contributing my quota to the development of grassroots football in the country. Refl ecting on your impeachment, what factors do you think were responsible? I was not impeached. Somebody in authority just used his infl uence unjustly to get me out of
NFF. Th e closing date for elections had elapsed, and I was unopposed. I was unanimously endorsed for the second term by all the geopolitical zones. In all the places I went, including the South West, I got the confi dent vote to continue, but some people used dirty means to remove me. Th ey employed crudest means to have me removed. Somebody in government was directing the whole aff airs. Some people were not comfortable with me because of my principled disposition; I stand for truth. Th at is why we need leaders like President Muhammadu Buhari who stand for truth. May God help him to recover fully.
But let me make it emphatically clear that there is nothing I left in the NFF that would want me to go back there. Nothing. I had assets, and they reduced drastically at the time I was leaving NFF. I used my money to serve Nigeria, and when I was leaving, I left huge amount in the coff ers of the NFF, something that never happened in the history of football administration in the country. Th ere were incidents, reports of match fi xing during your tenure. Who were those responsible, and what eff orts did you make to handle the matter? To the best of my knowledge, I was not aware of anything. I only heard of this when we had left offi ce. And anything that happened without my knowledge is a nullity, a fraud which I will not only dissociate myself from, but condemn in its entirety. Again, if at all such things happened, it must be because in any human system, there are bound to be bad eggs since there is no perfect human organisation. But I can tell you that NFF under me never did that rubbish. What roles do you intend to play again in NFF? As for me, a faithful citizen, I do not intend to come back to NFF again. For now, my attention is on my academy, FOSLA, which I am managing for the benefi t of my country. It is a gift from God. I love sports, and I am using by academy to serve my country. God who knows everything will direct what I will do tomorrow.