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Govt interference in Taraba Football Association against FIFA rules - Embattled Chair

● Says he was dully reelected
●Baido, Hassan Bappa, Bello Yerro funding crisis
● Why Sanusi Muhammed cannot be Taraba FA Chair

The embattled Chairman of the Taraba State Football Association, Timothy Heman Magaji, has alleged that  state government interference is  responsible for the crisis rocking the state’s FA, stressing that such interference are against FIFA rules guiding football association across the world.

'' With FIFA rules, FA should be run without any government interference and not even to the extent of threats to our lives. Such candidates in connivance with the Government is usually banned or punished.''

 Magaji in an exclusive interview with Taraba Truth and Facts said that some unguarded politicians including Member of the House of Representative, Danladi Biado, Former Commissioner Hassan Bappa and Permanent Secretary Local Government Bureau Alhaji Bello Yerro are funding and influencing the crisis in tje state football body.

''These are the people backing Mahmud Sanusi to unlawfully takes over the football association, they meet on Monday and are calling the Local Government chairmen and delegates to come and endorse Mahmud Sanusi as Taraba FA chairman, then proceed to governors office and speaker of the  House of Assembly on courtesy call but what they dont know is government or politicians are not allowed in football affairs.

On what happened on the Election Day, he said: “I want you to cast your mind back to the recent FIFA election that took place. Infantino who was also contesting  was the one that sat down with his board to constitute the electoral college and gave them a mandate to sit down and come up with a blueprints guideline and he also called for a  congress where they agreed on how they will perfect the election and the venue which it will hold.

Let me tell you, football association is not an ordinary association; there is a standard set for all association by FIFA. Even the NFF election, you will recall that Amaju Pinnick took the election to Katsina and he did that in the  congress where we all agreed that the election should hold in Katsina. So, when it was agreed, none of the contestant protests about the decision because they know the status quo and they play by the rule of it.

It is unfortunate that the party that contested here showed that he has the government backing and as he alleged that I was playing partisan politics during my tenure, he is entitled to his own opinion but i know am civil servant. So, based on that, he now used the government to intimidate and threatened me and wrote a letter demanding for the alternation of the venue which was approved by the extraordinarily congress held in Jalingo.

At that point, of buying a form, they will give you a guideline and time-table, the details of how the election is going to take place are there in the guideline. So it is left for you to check when you buy the form and see if you can meet up with the guideline and other activities listed on the time-table or you rather not fill the form and return it if you know u can’t meet up.

So, it is not after you fill the form that you will go and convived with the likes of Bello Yerro, Biado and Hassan Bappa to give directive to Security agents that they should arrest me anywhere they see me. Even when they see my people, they should arrest them that they cannot go to Gashaka. And the Gashaka that you are talking about, the same person went around campaigning for my delegates and he was in Gembu. Meanwhile, before you get to Gembu, you have to pass Gashaka. So, how did he get to Gembu to meet the Chairman if the place is not safe? You went to Bali and gave  50,000 to my delegates to support you, even on thier way back from Bali, they had accident with his 406 at a police check point, yet they say security report says we should not hold the election in Gashaka.

 Our Election was free, fair and transparent

''I did a free and fair election and I wish you could lay your hands on the guidelines of the election, that is where you will know that I don’t have any reason to conduct a parallel election, but Mahmud Sanusi held a parallel election to elect himself as Chairman. In our election we had Chairman of the electoral college, all key stakeholders including the board member and representative of NFF, Babagana Khalf witnessed the process that led to my reelection

I conducted a free and fair election. If I didn’t want people to contest in the election, I wouldn’t sell forms to them. Secondly, I am very sure of my delegates, I cannot understand how I will corner grown men. See, my delegates are responsible people with high level of integrity and morals.

It will even interest you that it was my delegates that told me all his activities. He used the issues of religion in his campaigns also with N50,000 cash price to woo my delegates. All these happened behind me. It was the delegates that told me all what he did because I was not there.

The delegates told me all that because we have very good rapport and we all understand that football has no religion. When I came back from Bauchi, where i represented the Chairman of  Chairmen, I called my delegates for some talk and we did because I have no money or anything to corner them with, i was reelected based  on my capacity and commitment to growth of football.

Everyone was being called and threatened, even my FA secretary and chairman of the Electoral College was threatened and that got to him. Because the boy’s father’s position in the country, he believed he can always have his way in the state and the best thing he can do was to start threatening everyone with security when he couldn’t have his way.''

According to Maggaji,  the way forward is for the NFF executive board to sit down after the 2019 Cup of Nations to go through the reports of my elective congress, because  the NFF  is the apex decision making in Nigeria when it comes to football affair.
''I thank God that association football has a standard and procedures no matter what or who you are, you must follow the procedure and the rules, not that you will just come because you have the backing of the government to impose yourself as FA chair.''

Furthermore, the FA chairman absolved himself of any blame on why the state owned FC Taraba has become a shadow of its former self. According to him, his critics can only call him out had it been the government had provided support and funding needed to run the day-to-day activities of the club.


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