Lagos — Angry youths in their hundreds yesterday protested across Abuja to drum home their displeasure with the sacked board of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led by Sani Lulu Abdulahi. The protest was peaceful. The placards touting youths led by Segun Adekoya went to the National Assembly, National Sports Commission and NFF Secretariat to register their anger with the rudderless state of football administration in the country.
The march on the federal capital territory followed a chain of events a day earlier, which resulted in the dismissal of Lulu and two other members of the executive committee, vice president, Amanze Uchegbulam and Taiwo Ogunjobi from the board by nine other members.
The youths arrived just when the new NFF President, Aminu Maigari and his vice Obinna Ogba were consulting at the Presidential Villa on the future of Nigerian football before yesterday's deadline FIFA gave government to revert the two- year ban on the national teams. Soon after the protest, the officer in charge of Wuse Police Station, ASP Toma Alli, led a team of policemen to the NFF secretariat to ensure maintenance of law and order.
Alli said a caller who phoned to inform about the infiltration of NFF by some protesters alerted him to the scene.
Some of the messages on the placards carried by the youths read: "Football Unites Us, Let's Not Joke With it"; "Uchegbulam Must be Arrested"; "Thank God Lulu is Gone"; "To Hell with FIFA"; "Enough of Magu Magu in Our Football".
Speaking through their leader, the youths alleged that corruption has destroyed the very fibre of Nigerian football and that the current situation could only be remedied through concerted efforts.
They said they were in total support of the action of President Goodluck Jonathan, who acting on the recommendation of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) last week withdrew the national teams from international activities for two years.
"We support government's position. Professionals should run football. This country has enormous football talents to tap from. But instead, the federation paraded a bunch of tired legs at the World Cup finals. We don't want the likes of Lulu and Uchegbulam. Those guys have destroyed our football," bemoaned Adekoya.