BY KUNLE SOLAJA
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) 1st Vice President, Seyi Akinwunmi had a titanic battle before he coasted to victory at home front in the Lagos State Football Association elections where he got a renewed four year mandate as chairman.
He had a formidable opposition in Gafar Liameed, the owner of 36 Lion FC as the election had to go into second ballot at the Morning Side Hotel and Suit in Victoria Island, Lagos.
That was the highpoint of the Lagos State FA Electoral Congress which had 13 eligible voters all present.
In the first ballot, Akinwunmi had a slim victory of seven votes as against six for Liameed. The electoral guidelines stipulate that a winner had to have two-third majority to be validly elected, otherwise, the election goes into the second ballot in which requires just a simple majority.
It was tension all the way. One of the voters said his vote was initially for Liameed but changed his mind at the congress hall. But for that, the initial result in the first ballot would have been the other way.
All the same, the election would have still gone into the second ballot. An initial five-minute break to allow the two contestants canvass dragged into 15 minutes which looked like eternity.
Then came the rerun. Akinwunmi won by nine votes to four, meaning that the initial seven voters remained with him and he got two additional votes from those who voted for Liameed.
He had won what was more of an escape to victory. He told www.sportsvillagesquare.com that the result of the second ballot was what he had projected for in the first instance and that he was unperturbed even when the first ballot was nearly deadlocked.
With the victory, he said his immediate action was to bring back the football body as one family. This he demonstrated immediately the result was announced. He stood up and hugged his opponent, Liameed.
Tade Azeez returned with acclamation to his post as vice chairman. Other elected members include Mojeed Adegbile, Dotun Coker, Aramide Cole. The new board was immediately sworn in by Abdulrasheed Ibrahim, a lawyer and public notary.
With the re-election of Akinwunmi, he becomes the fourth member of the NFF Board to be returned as head of their various affiliate constituencies of the NFF General Assembly.
On Sunday, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh retained his seat as Chairman of Niger State Football Association. Almost at the same time that the Lagos FA Elections were on, two other Members of the NFF Executive Committee were overwhelming choices of their State congresses for a further term in office.
Chidi Ofo Okenwa, Chairman of the Nigeria National League, was runaway choice of the congress of Enugu State Football Association, just as Mohammed Alkali, Chairman of the Nigeria Nationwide League One, was overwhelmingly endorsed by the congress of the Nasarawa State Football Association.