The Executive Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Godwin Obaseki has praised NFF President Amaju Pinnick on his bravery, inspired political dexterity and energy, which have shot him into reckoning in global football administration, while also challenging the NFF boss to fly the country’s flag with elan and distinction in his new roles.
At a colourful reception dinner inside the Festival Hall of the Government House, Benin City on Friday night, Edo State’s number one citizen also called on the nation’s political and business leaders to give Pinnick and the NFF immense support to succeed in taking Nigerian Football to new heights of excellence.
“There is no doubt that your courage and enterprise is worthy of emulation by persons seeking to break new grounds in their chosen career. You toiled very hard and never shied away from committing to your vision even in the face of daunting odds.
“I am delighted that you have risen so high in global football administration in such a short time. But I want you to keep a level head and represent the country diligently and selflessly. It is also important that you ensure we have more Nigerians in FIFA and CAF,” said Governor Obaseki, who also attended Pinnick’s thanksgiving service in Warri six weeks ago.
Governor Obaseki also charged the NFF boss to use his position to correct certain wrongs in the administration of football in Nigeria and at global level.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman of the South South Congress, Barrister Chris Green extolled the virtues of Pinnick as a suave football administrator, saying the South South region and indeed Nigeria must be proud of him.
In his response, Pinnick applauded Governor Obaseki for his tremendous support towards the realization of his dreams of attaining top position in continental and global football bodies, and assured that he would commit to a life of service and mentoring of young and ambitious Nigerian administrators in his new roles.
Pinnick was elected a Member of the Executive Committee of CAF at the 39th Congress of the African body in Ethiopia on 16th March 2017, few weeks after he was appointed into the Organizing Committee for FIFA Competitions – one of the most influential panels in the world ruling body. Penultimate week, he was appointed President of the Africa Cup of Nations and CAF Media Committees.
Also present at the three –hour reception were Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu, Speaker of the Edo State House of Assembly, Dr. Justin Okonuoboh, top politicians in Edo State and members of the Edo State Executive Council.
There were also NFF 1st Vice President Seyi Akinwunmi, NFF Executive Committee members Ibrahim Musa Gusau, Chris Green, Yusuf Ahmed Fresh and Sharif Rabiu Inuwa, former NFF President Dominic Oneya, some State FA chairmen led by Edo State FA boss Frank Ilaboya, former Nigerian international players, former Nigerian coaches Alabi Aisien, Godwin Izilien and Sebastian Brodricks-Imasuen and other football stakeholders.
The Nigeria Football Supporters Club, led by the national chairman, Reverend Samuel Ikpea, added spice to the occasion. The reception was organized by the South South Congress and hosted by the Edo State Government.