By: Sule Sani-Jalingo
The lingering crisis rocking the Taraba Football Association (FA) has taken a new dimension, as stakeholders fault Nigeria Football Federation NFF’s position in the state.
As a result, various football clubs including FC Taraba fans were on Tuesday staged in the street protesting on what they called ‘imposition of leaders on the State FA by the leadership of the Nigeria Football Federation NFF.
The protesters were carrying placards with various inscriptions, such as ‘we reject the imposition of leaders, ‘Timothy most go’ among others.
Ado Lawal who spoke on behalf of the protesters also vowed to resist any attempts by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to suspend football activities in Taraba state.
Lawal who is also the Chairman Jalingo Local Football Council also registered their full support to the leadership of Sanusi Mahmood in Taraba FA.
However, addressing newsmen on the crisis shortly after an Extraordinary Emergency Meeting held in Taraba FA’s office at Jolly Nyame Stadium in Jalingo, one of the factional Board Member, Victor Andrew who is also behind Sanusi Mahmud as the duly elected Chairman expressed their dismay over the actions of the NFF leadership for trying to imposed a leader for them, which he said they will not allow that to happen.
Andrew also lamented on the actions of some NFF officials Ibrahim Gusau and Babagana Khalid for supporting a party to the issues, saying the election was not conducted according to the laid down procedure.
He called on the NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, to call “Ibrahim Gusau, Babagana Khalid and their loyalists to order, while he announced the indefinite suspension of Mr Timothy Magaji alongside five others from the association.
Andrew, who claimed that Sanusi Mahmood is the ‘genuine Taraba FA chairman,’ said already they have marshalled out plans to move football forward in the state.
He assured the NFF of their readiness for a roundtable dialogue, for peaceful coexistence and the development of football activities in the state.
Dismissing Mahmud’s claim to the FA chairmanship, Timothy Magaji, who told newsmen that he was the duly elected Chairman of the Taraba FA, said the election was held in the state in a free, fair and peaceful manner.
He dismissed all the allegations by the Mahmood’s faction, saying they were false claims by a loser.
The crisis which began after the last election into the Board of the state FA recently forced the NFF to threaten to ban the state from all football activities
It was observed that both factions are operating from different locations with different staff working in the name of Taraba FA.