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FA Elections: Stakeholders dare Chukwuemeka, Ogba

As the States Football Association elections draw nearer, stakeholders in Abia and Ebonyi States have thrown their caps into the rings to challenge the present leadership of the FA Board in the two South East states.

Exclusivenews gathered that the actions may have been as a result of inactive leadership in the two states in terms of grassroots football development.

Immediately, the forms were released last week in Abia State, three candidates have already picked the nomination forms to challenge the Chairmanship of Chief Ephraim Chukwuemeka. The octogenarian we gathered is gunning for the fourth tenure.

Those who have signified interest are Hon. Ginger Onwusibe, former Chairman of Isiala Ngwa North LGA and elected member of the State House of Assembly. Elder Godwin Nna, Mr Ndudi Edede (C.E.O Dreamland Football Academy) Other stakeholders are also coming forward. We further gathered that everything about the election is been done in secrecy, to ensure that many are disenfranchised.

In Ebonyi State, the Chairman/CEO of Fair play Sports Consultancy, Mr Jacob Onu has vowed to bring to an end, the domineering leadership of Senator Obinna Ogba which started from 2002 to date, and kept football in a state of comatose in the State.

Onu, while speaking in Abuja noted with dismay
the death of football in his state for the past 20 years after the
exploits of defunct Ebonyi Angels and Ebonyi Queens in the men’s and
women’s football categories respectively.

He regretted that the incumbent Chairman of the state FA, Sen. Obinna
Ogba has practically dragged football in the state to untimely grave
and rather than realizing the damage he has done to the state by
killing football, the sitting Senator insists on sit tight on the
state’s FA Chairman’s seat even with his plot to succeed himself.

The Fair Play Sports Consultancy CEO noted that it is time up for Sen.
Ogba and his cronies as the entire state which can boast of quality
hands in running the day to day affairs of football in the country can
no longer be tagged “state where football is dead” whereas “we are
helping other states and the country to develop their football.”

Onu wondered why Sen. Ogba could be satisfied with answering Chaiman
of Ebonyi state FA while there is no football club in the state at all
level and noted that it is so bad that the only club representing the
state in the NFF Federation Cup is from Abia state which means Abia
State had to lend a club to Ebonyi state so that the state would have
a representation at the Federation Cup.

“We cannot continue to fold our hands and watch one man bury football
in our state after killing it. We have been helping other states to
develop their football but when it comes to Ebonyi state, the Senator
Ogba led gang scares everybody away but have nothing to give. Look at
our youths littered everywhere on the streets, hawking and running
after moving vehicles in the name of trading. These boys can do very
well in football in particular and sports in general but because there
is no programme for them, their talents are being wasted. I have come
to put a final full stop to that by becoming the next Ebonyi state FA
Chairman,” he said.

He lamented that despite the state being blessed with a football
loving Governor, Dave Umahi who constructed one of the best stadia in
the country at Abakiliki, the state FA non-performance has dwarfed the
achievement to the extent that even at the NFF glasshouse headquarters
in Abuja, they do not know if football is played in Ebonyi.

“I am not joking. Go to NFF and mention Ebonyi, they will ask you if
football is played in that area. It is not their fault at all. When,
from year to year no registration comes from the state either in the
three tiers of the league or the Federation Cup. It’s a shame and I
have come to wipe that away.”

Meanwhile, Onu has been cleared by the Electoral Committee to contest
against Sen. Ogba in the election scheduled for June 1 at Abakiliki,
capital city of Ebonyi state. This will be the first time the state FA
election will be a contest between two contestants for the post of
Chairman for the past 16 years.

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