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Emmanuel Ikpeme Set To Become NFF Gen Sec

There are strong indications that the Deputy Secretary in the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, may be appointed as the new scribe of the football federation today.

The chairman of Zamfara Football Association, Ibrahim Gusau, emerged as the new NFF president last Friday in Benin City during the elective congress of the football body.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has already commenced the process to replace the incumbent NFF Secretary General, Mohammed Sanusi, who is from the same geo-political zone as the new president (Gusau).

Apart from the issue of his geographical zone, Sanusi was said to have fallen foul of civil service etiquette through an alleged wrong move he made during the NFF election.

Sanusi was said to have displayed ‘absolute disrespect’ for the Sports Ministry and the office of the Minister, Sunday Dare, in the build-up to the NFF election in Benin City.

According to a source, Sanusi allegedly wrote a letter in mid-September, this year, to report the Federal Government to FIFA for interfering in the NFF election.

“Sanusi sent a copy of his letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Sports Ministry. The NFF is still a parastatal under the Ministry and answerable to the Minister. The Ministry is the supreme body responsible for the administration of sports in Nigeria and it is fully empowered by the constitution.

“Sanusi and the NFF thought they could use FIFA to blackmail Nigeria. Disrespecting constituted authority is taking it too far by the Secretary-General. He (Sanusi) has created problems for the new NFF president by his behaviour and is likely to be ejected from the NFF secretariat because he is a civil servant, just like other secretaries in the various sporting federations,” the source stated.

Another source hinted yesterday that Ikpeme, who is from the South-South geopolitical zone of the country, might be announced as the new NFF Secretary-General today.

According to the source, the decision to arrive at the choice of Ikpeme as the new NFF scribe is hinged on his experience as the next in command to Sanusi in the Federation.

“Apart from being the most senior officer next to Sanusi in the NFF, the sports ministry recently appointed Olumide Bamiduro as secretary of the Interim Management Committee of the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL). Both Bamiduro and the IMC Chairman, Gbenga Elegbeleye, are from the Southwest geopolitical zone,” the source added.

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