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Nigeria football problems:  “Am the Answer”, declares Pastor Idah Peterside, ex-international



As the build up to the elective congress of the Nigeria Football Federation gathers momentum, one of the aspirants, Idah Peterside has sent an audio clip to the Sports Village Square to enunciate his plans for Nigerian football and why he should be elected as president in succession to the incumbent, Amaju Pinnick.

Peterside, a former Nigerian international who is also a pastor is not the only aspirant to become the NFF President. But he has unfolded his vision in a five minute and 22 second audio clip sent to the Sports Village Square.

Here is his declaration:

“My name is Dr. Idah Peterside, former international Nigeria player. I have served Nigeria with all my strength.

“I have been involved with football since I was 16 -17 years. I played for great teams in Nigeria – Sharks of Port Harcourt, Enyimba, Rangers, BCC Lions, I even played for NNPC Warri.

“So football is basically my life. Fortunately for me I had 15 appearances for the national team and I have two caps. I have served football all my life and I think it is the right time to come back and offer my experience.


“I have been involved in media. I worked for Super Sports for 20 years, I was the media officer to the Super Eagles for four years. I attended two nations cup and one World Cup.

“I have the experience not just the experience.

In the history of Nigerian football,  no ex footballer, again I say it, no ex footballer has led the NFF. I think that’s not right. It’s our game.

“We don’t condemn all those that have served before us, we appreciate their contributions, especially the last board led by Amaju Pinnick.

“They’ve done great things for Nigerian football. But I think it is time to move forward. I think it is time for a new thing. There is coming a revolution.


“This revolution comes with integrity. This revolution comes with passion. We will move Nigeria football forward. Our teams need to be supported.

“Our national team needs to be the best. It cannot be otherwise. Our clubsides need to be playing in the finals of the Champions League and cup tournaments all around Africa.

“We are Nigeria. We are a proud nation. Therefore, it is expected that we should lead the surge to be the best in Africa. There will be changes. We will go to the grassroots.

“We will develop out football  grassroots. The FA president will be involved. We will make sure  that we will support them in anyway they need support.

“An the clubsides will play with our enumerations. We will make sure we have TV rights. We’ll bring television back to our game. We will change the course of football in Nigeria.


“What about women’s football? We will take time out specially to make sure that our sisters and our daughters play to the highest level. We will help them in every way.

“We will train coaches to be involved in women’ football. An we will see that with time, our ladies will be world beaters. It’s going to be beautiful.

“I want to be elected and I speak with all the clubs chairmen. It doesn’t matter where you come from, whom you are, how long you have been around . It is what do you have to offer.

“I have a lot to offer. I love Nigeria. I love football. I have played football to the highest level. I want to call all the stakeholders: do not look at faces this time. Look at the game.

“Nigerians are suffering. Nigerians are looking for answers. We are looking for answers. I believe I am the answer. I will turn things around. I will bring dignity back to our football.


“People will be excited again about Nigeria football. Clubsides will enjoy the benefit of my leadership. Fans around the world will be excited wearing our jerseys and carrying our flags and seeing indeed that Nigeria is back.

“I want to be elected as the president. I will carry footballers along. I will carry top veterans along. It will be a place of peace. Trust me. This is what am called to do, to bring peace.

“Therefore, there would be peace. Peace in our football. Joy in our footbal. People will be excited that our football is back.  But you need to give me your mandate.

“I ask for your mandate. We would solve Nigeria football problem. I promise you. There will be discipline. There will be integrity. Our referees will be top class around the world. Our coaches will be helped and developed as much as we need what to do.

“We will help our football. You will see in the first three months of my reign, it will begin to show. I have a dream and that dream is to have a massive complex a place where our national team can always gather.


“I have travelled around the world – Morocco and in Holland, there is a place called Papendal. It is a beauty to behold. Why not in Nigeria.

“I appeal to all those in charge; there should be no cliques, there should be no war. Let’s talk football. Let save our football. Give me your mandate.

“My name is Idah Peterside. Thank you for listening to me. It’s going to be better. I promise you. God bless you.”

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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