President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, has formally expressed appreciation to the Federal Government of Nigeria, the NFF Executive Committee, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the NFF Congress, members of the Senate Committee on Sports, members of the House of Reps’ Committee and several other individuals and groups for their support towards his recent election as a member of the CAF Executive Committee.
The member of the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions returned to Nigeria recently ahead of a special thanksgiving service in Warri this weekend, and to attend to important issues on Nigeria football before heading to the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (starting in The Bahamas in three weeks), from where he will fly to Bahrain for the 67th FIFA Congress early next month.
“I cannot possibly express appreciation to everyone and groups who gave me ample support. However, I must very specially thank President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (GCON), Senate President, Bukola Saraki (CON); the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara (CFR), Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung; Chairman and Members of the Senate Committee on Sports, Chairman and Members of the House Committee on Sports and of course, the NFF Congress. Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Obinna Ogba, was present at the elections in Ethiopia.
“I also want to specially thank the governors of Delta, Lagos, Edo and Cross River states, Ifeanyi Okowa, Akinwunmi Ambode, Godwin Obaseki and Ben Ayade, respectively; the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, eminent newspaper columnists, respected sports editors, sports managers, reporters and correspondents and indeed everyone who played a role to see to the actualization of the dream.
“I want to assure everyone that I harbour no ill –feeling towards anyone who did not outrightly give support. People have asked me about the members of CAF committees who spoke against my aspiration, and I have replied that they are highly –experienced administrators and we cannot wish away their experience and institutional knowledge.”
Pinnick insisted that the landmark feat, which made him only the third Nigerian in CAF Executive Committee, and the appointment into one of world football’s most important committees, will not becloud his vision and that of the present NFF Board to build a sustainable football culture for Nigeria.
“Now, we have a voice in African football politics, and we can play some role in world football. However, we remain committed to taking Nigeria football to new heights of excellence and we intend to put everything into the qualification campaigns for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
“We are also working hard to tackle the issue of funding by interfacing with Nigeria corporates to convince many more of them to embrace strategic partnership with the Nigeria game.”
Meanwhile, more congratulatory messages have landed on Pinnick’s desk following the victory in Addis Ababa, the latest coming from the presidents of Egyptian Football Association and the Federation Burkinabe de Football.
In his message, FBF boss, Colonel Sita Sangare, wrote: “Following your brilliant election as African member of the executive committee of CAF during the CAF Congress held on the 16th of March in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), I would like, on behalf of the Football Association of Burkina Faso and on my own behalf to send you my warmest congratulations.
“I am very confident that your rich experience will be highly beneficial to the development of African football. I therefore wish you full success in your duty.”
EFA president, Hany Abo Rida, who is a member of the FIFA Council, wrote: “On behalf of the EFA president, board members and the executive manager, we have the pleasure to send you our best greetings for the confidence of the CAF general assembly and your success at the CAF election as CAF executive committee member.
“This confidence expresses the will of the CAF general assembly, which contributes to develop the level of the game in the African continent and co-operation between CAF and its affiliated federations in order to serve the African football.”