President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Ibrahim Musa Gusau, has pledged his full support to the present administration of the Benue State Football Association, BSFA, led by the Chairman, Barr. Paul Edeh.
During a courtesy visit on the NFF Secretariat held at the Sunday Dankaro House in Abuja, the NFF President praised the State’s FA vision and dedication in developing football from the grassroots.
While expressing his admiration and confidence in the Barr. Edeh led team, Gusua expressed optimism that BSFA programmes will achieve great success through its emphasis on grassroots development and noted that it was in tandem with his board’s vision to develop the game in Nigeria, adding that the BSFA would get the full backing of the apex football body.
“I want to assure you that under my watch we shall do everything possible to support your leadership. When Hon. Icheen met me to communicate that she wass not going to contest again. I told her I don’t want to talk about that now, that she should give me a little time to think about it. But later, Barrister Edeh told me his intention to contest for the Benue FA Chairman. It was then i felt a little bit relieved, because the whole essence is to get people that are interested and committed to the game of football to lead, because if we don’t have people that are interested and committed into positions of leadership and give them authority, we’re deceiving ourselves. God in his own wisdom will see us through to make sure we achieve our goals as FA chairman and NFF president respectively”. He said.
The country’s number one football citizen also said he was deeply honoured by the presence and presentation of the delegation, stressing that the visit by the BSFA was the first of its kind by any FA in Nigeria to the apex football body in the country and urged them to sustain such a path of leadership.
“I’m proud of you Barr Paul, honestly because your board is the first FA board that is making this kind of visit in the history of the NFF, I stand to be corrected. This is a pointer to the fact that your leadership as Benue state Chairman will be exceptional”.
Earlier, the Chairman of the BSFA and President, Ratels Sports Development Foundation, RSDF Barr. Edeh, while affirming his enduring passion for Sports within and without the State, said the reason for the visit was to interact with the first citizen of football in Nigeria, understand his vision for football in order to ensure that the programmes designed by the current board of the BSFA are not at variance with that of the NFF board aimed at achieving the most desirable possible ways of grassroots football development.
“When I made up my mind to contest for the Benue state FA Chairman, I first swept through your manifesto so that I can understand the vision of the man who’s currently the first citizen of football in Nigeria and one fundamental vision was very prominent which caught my attention which was your vision to developed football from the grassroots.
“Today, I must confess that the President and I have a couple of similarities. The first is the fact that the President has two women in his board and so do I. The President’s General Secretary is a PHD holder and so is my Secretary General. As you can see Sir, I am following in your footsteps”. He said.
Edeh, while also thanking the NFF President for granting his board audience within a short notice, appealed to the NFF President to assist the State FA utilize her football facilities for their original purposes, adding that Benue State had made tremendous contributions to football in Nigeria but current infrastructural deficit if not urgently addressed would ebb the culture of football in the State and by extension, the country.
“As an FA board, we decided not to run our administration without first consulting and understanding what the vision of the president is regarding the growth of football at the FA level. So we’re here to hear what your visions are so that when we run along with it, we’ll be running in line with your vision and accomplish it head-on”
Sharing the board’s encounter with some stakeholders in Benue State over the course of their previous visits, the astute football administrator and erudite technocrat of varying values, further advocated the need to embrace a policy direction that encourages the combination of Sports and education.
Barr Edeh also decried the high cost of football in the country which has militated against the growth of the game at the grassroots and urged the President to come up with a policy direction that would lead to the crash of the prices of football in the country and by extension Benue State to enhance easy access to balls.
A high point of the Courtesy Call was a presentation of a variety of two big hamper baskets of fruits reminiscent of Benue State as a food basket of the Nation. This was in addition to other memorabilia handed to the NFF President by the leadership of the BSFA to symbolize why the State is regarded as the food FAs to reckon with under the astute leadership of Barr Edeh.
The event also saw the presence of other notable figures, including NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi and NFF Board members Mrs. Margaret Icheen and Alhaji Sharifx Rabi’u Inuwa popularly known ~as~ “Ahlan”