BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Amidst uncertainty on when the elective congress of the Nigeria Football Federation will hold this year, a former staff of the body, Christian Emeruwa in declaring his intention to contest for the presidency has changed the complexion of campaign in the organisation.
Apart from his earlier tweet in the week when he first publicly dropped the hint of his intention, he finally released a 10-minute three seconds audiovisual documentary on digital platforms to officially make a declaration.
This has never happened in the annals of the organisation formed in 1933, but wrongly assumed to have been founded in 1945.
The video released on Friday marked the first time such will happen in the campaign for the NFF position.
If Emeruwa, the head of Safety and Security Department of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) succeeds, he will be the most erudite person to head the Nigerian football organisation.
He is a doctorate degree holder in Administration and Organization of Sports from the Nigerian premier university, the University of Ibadan.
In aiming at his goal, he opened a verified twitter handle as well as a blog to reach out to many football followers.
He will also be the first Nigerian working for an international federation to seek for the key position of the NFF.
Before his adventure at CAF, he had worked in the Nigerian Football Federation for 11 years and served under three general secretaries – Dr. Bolaji Ojo-Oba, Musa Ahmadu and the incumbent, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.
According to Emeruwa, he is not just an office-seeker, but one who wants to transmit the experience he has garnered serving an international federation and having the opportunity to interact with 52 football associations in Africa and many others across the globe while on FIFA assignments.
On this, he is therefore the most imbued to deliver an NFF that will not just be aspiring to take teams to international competitions, but one that will be formidable contestant as well as being well equipped to develop the local football through installation of workable structures.
“I have observed how football has developed in other countries, am determined to replicate this in Nigeria and ensure that our local league will rank among the best in the continent”, Emeruwa told Sports Village Square in a telephone interview from his base in Cairo, Egypt.
To him, football is first about the footballers and then the clubs. “Without those two, there will be no need for a football association or federation”, hence, he wants to ensure that there is proper installation of structures that will ensure local football development that will ensure that home based players are straightened to compete for positions in the national team.
Even before his public declaration of intention, he said he had made wide consultations and if given the opportunity, he will transform Nigerian football and football organisation as well as administration.
This is captured in a Whatsapp message he released during the week:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, good morning to you all. I wish to inform you all that I have decided that I will contest for the position of President, Nigeria Football Federation in the forthcoming election. I have been consulting with all football elders, and stakeholders and my consultations will still continue. Please remember me in your prayers.”