BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
In modern era, only Sani Toro as General Secretary of the Nigeria Football Federation enjoyed a longer period in office than the incumbent, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi who got into office on March 30, 2015.
Sani Toro was the General Secretary from December 21, 1993 to May 3, 1999. But that tenure of six years is under threat from Mohammed Sanusi.
By end of 2019, he will be approaching nearly his fifth year in office. Before him, no one has spent that length of time in office since 1959, thus making him the longest serving chief executive officer of Nigerian football in 60 years.
Even those before him who have had to return to office did not have a cumulative tenure of five years.
In this regards are Oyo Orok Oyo (1961-1963 and 1967 – 1971); POC Achebe (1971-1973, 1975-1976 and 1991-1992); Patrick Okpomo (1984-1987 and 2001-2002) and Tijani Ahmed Yusuf (1992-1993 and 1999-2001).
With five years almost running out, Mohammed Sanusi was penultimate week, handed a new five-year tenure, which begins on January 1, 2020.
According to the President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, it is a reward for loyalty and tenacity of purpose in the running of the NFF Secretariat.
With the planned relocation of the secretariat to its new building, the Dankaro House, Sanusi will be the first chief operating officer at the new building.
The building itself is the second property to be owned by the football body since purchasing the now liaison office, the Ogunlana Drive twin duplex in Lagos that was commissioned on April 5, 1963.
The NFF relocated to the current twin-building glass house, which it shares with Federal Road Safety Corps on Thursday January 2, 1997.
Sports Village Square recalls that when Sanusi completes his renewed tenure in 2025 he would have clocked 10 years in office and a big challenge to the 12 years that Banham Reginald Allen, better known as Darby Allen, spent as secretary/treasurer of the then NFA from 1947 to 1959, before becoming the chairman in 1959.
Sanusi joined the NFF in 2007 as head of Competition Department having served in the organizing committee of the Abuja 2003 All Africa Games.
He is not the only record-maker in the NFF. Ayobola Oyeyode and Lawrence Katken are the first members of staff in the 86-year history of the NFF to attain full directorship in the Federal Civil Service.