NFF President Amaju Pinnick has, for the umpteenth time, appealed to the sporting media in the country to criticize his administration constructively and with the objective of contributing to the development of Nigeria football.
Speaking during a parley with members of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter on Tuesday, the NFF supremo made a passionate appeal to the media to always have it in mind that the country is bigger than every individual, and that the interest of the country must override every sentiment or personal ambition.
“I am here simply to make a passionate appeal to you all, to always seek to know, to ask, and to understand before going to press. We have seen a couple of articles in the media in recent weeks that showed clearly, a lack of understanding of the workings of the Federation.
“I am not saying that the media should not criticize the NFF; that is not possible. Criticisms make us stronger, make us better and make us wiser. But destructive criticisms are not in the best interest of anyone or the country, because whatever you people write goes round the world and is taken serious by people in diverse places.”
Pinnick shed more light on the recent kit sponsorship agreement the NFF signed with American company NIKE, insisting that global best practice was observd every inch of the way and that negotiating from a weak position, and having been rejected by several other brands, did not make things easy for the Federation.
He reiterated that he is not supposed to resume at the NFF Secretariat on daily basis, as day-to-day administration is left in the hands of the General Secretary, who is the Chief Operating Officer.
“If I am not around, there is the 1st Vice President, and if he’s not around, there is the 2nd Vice President, that way down the line. My absence should not generate any furore, moreover I went on a medical trip and this was made known.
“This country is bigger than all of us put together. We should always first consider the interest of the country in anything we say or do.”
Pinnick also decried criticism of the Federation’s renovation of the Glass House.
“The Sunday Dankaro House is government property, and the money we got for the furnishing from Governor Godswill Akpabio is government money, so due diligence is mandatory. If the building was private property and we had private funds, we could have moved into the place long ago. But there is due process to be followed in everything we wish to do there and we are being guided by the Bureau for Public Procurement. Also, we have to renovate the old building because the Leagues will move there once the Secretariat moves to Sunday Dankaro House.”
Also at the briefing were members of the NFF Executive Committee, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed Fresh, Mrs Dilichukwu Onyedinma and Alhaji Ahmad Kawu, General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme and Director of Finance and Administration, Mr. Chris Andekin.