BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
One of the key players in CAF politics in West Africa has informed Sports Village Square that the endorsement of Ahmad to run again for the position of CAF president may be a gross deceit.
Forty six FA presidents across the six regional zones of CAF have issued a statement to support the candidature of Ahmad to run again in the election slated for Morocco in March.
But the source informed that Ahmad may not be swayed by the statement as he would probably take it as gross deceit.
The 60-year old Madagascan who ruled his national FA for 17 years prior to being elected as CAF president three years ago was reportedly to have once remarked that he can never trust African delegates when it comes to election.
He himself had been a beneficiary of deceit. The 46 endorsement out of obtainable 54 ordinarily put him at a vantage position to retain his seat.
But prior to his emergence in 2017, Issa Hayatou had garnered endorsement from 50 delegates out of 54 who were expected to vote at the election held in Addis Ababa.
But at the election, Hayatou got just 20 votes while the remaining 34 went to Ahmad. In essence, 30 of those who endorsed him prior to the election deceived him!
The source in West Africa further informed that Ahmad had once stated that he understood African politics very well as most who were in Hayatou’s camp were actually moles planted.
Ahmad, who was briefly arrested by the French anti-corruption police last year June, is currently under investigation by FIFA. In addition, he has been accused of taken some African FA chiefs to Saudi Arabia which is also being viewed as unethical.
Mohamed El Sherei, a sacked CAF Finance director blew the lid off a deal that saw Ahmad funding flights and expenses of several CAF board members, FA presidents across Africa going on the Umrah (lesser Hajj Pilgrimage) in May 2018.
CAF election has always being a reflection of electoral processes across Africa where incumbent always come up with self-serving regulations. Such was the case in the 2013 election that saw Hayatou’s only challenger, Jacques Anouma of Cote d’Ivoire disqualified paving the way for the Cameroonian to win unchallenged.
Six months earlier, CAF held a meeting in the Seychelles where they overwhelmingly approved an amendment of their statutes to declare that only voting members of the executive committee could run for president.
Anouma is on the committee, because he is one of the continent’s FIFA representatives, but does not have voting powers.
The timing of the change in decree led many to believe that Hayatou deliberately forced it through when he learnt of Anouma’s plans to run for president.
In the days leading to the 2017 election that produced a new president in 29 years, DR Congo’s Omari Constant Selemani was a suspected mole in the Hayatou’s camp and was one of the 50 that endorsed the Cameroonian ahead of the election where the old man merely managed to get 20 votes.
According to our source, such machinery is most likely to be at work again following the current 46-man endorsement that Ahmad has received.
He is of the opinion that the ‘revolutionaries’ that ensured the overthrown of the ancient regime has since disintegrated.
He pointed at Nigeria’s FA chief, Amaju Pinnick as the arrowhead of the revolution. ‘But as you must have known, he is no longer with them in spirit’.
Ahmad’s emergence as president in 2017 owed a lot to a broad continent-wide coalition spearheaded by Pinnick which ended the hegemonic decades-long rule of Hayatou.
He further accused Ahmad as exploiting linguistic divide by sidelining Anglophone countries while prompting up the numerically stronger Francophone countries.