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BOSS OF THE WEEK: Amaju Pinnick: Football Administrator With A Midas Touch



In Nigeria, football is the King of sports. We talk football, we eat football and we drink football-indeed for so many in Africa’s most populous country, football is a religion.

It is because of the importance of that game in Nigeria that Amaju Melvin Pinnick can be placed in a very high pedestal as one of the country’s most famous individuals.

Apart from occupying the enviable position of President, Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Amaju is a record breaker par excellence. He broke the long-held jinx that no Nigerian FA Chair can secure another term by securing an overwhelming victory at last year’s election that got him a second 4-year tenure in office.

Returning to the football House was not because Pinnick is adept at playing local politics or that he had millions to throw around, no no!his secret weapon was his total commitment to the development of football in Nigeria which was exhibited by his sterling work ethic and monumental achievement in his first term.

He brought a new philosophy to football administration in Nigeria, starting with transparency and probity to securing mega deals for the association, its products as well as the national teams!

Born in Warri, Delta State to late Chief Oritsetimeyin Japhet Pinnick and Madam Rebecca Ayomike in 1973, like King Midas, anything he has touched in football, has turned to gold.

Those who are close to him swear that what he has become today has occurred through a dint of hardwork , focus, and dedication. He is the fifteenth of his parent’s nineteen children, so from a very young age he had to carve a niche for himself, he had to understand that you need to do something extraordinary to stand out. This has helped to shape the trajectory of his life.

We are told that Pinnick, fired by his love for the beautiful game joined the Delta State FA and was very eager to learn. In 2003, he became the Vice Chairman of the DSFA and later the Delta State FA Chairman.

He, it was, in 2007, that convinced then Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan to establish the Delta State Sports Commission. The aim was to give sports a professional and institutional platform to thrive and this helped to reenact the glory days of sports in one-half of the former Bendel State.

Under Pinnick, during the 2012 National Sports Festival in Lagos, Delta emerged the overall champions, coasting home with 114 Gold. 99 Silver and 75 Bronze, the state displaced the defending Champions Rivers to second.

It was this monumental feat that people around the country began to take notice of this well-traveled young man who dreams big and has the knack for excellence.

That was not all, about this time, Delta State-owned Warri Wolves was also making giant strides in the Nigerian league and everyone could see the input of the FA.

The Passion of Pinnick was infectious and admirable, Chairman Pinnick was at almost every match. It was obvious that for him football administration was serious business. It was no surprise therefore that he brought a lot of innovation to football administration in the state chief among them was his ability to leverage his contacts and connection to attract private sector sponsorship for the DSFA. He was indeed a technocrat with a difference.

So when the Warri boy decided that he was ripe enough to go national with his ideas and made an audacious bid for the Presidency, some did not give him a chance.

Those who were in the race in 2014 included Shehu Diukko, late Taiwo Ogunjobi, Dominic Iorfa and Amanze Ugbechulam. He was the only one who had not previously held a position in the Glass House. But when the chips were down, he won. He secured 32 votes from the available 44-and that was when Nigerian Football began to enjoy its steady reawakening.

Today, under his leadership, Nigerian football is gradually getting back to its pride of place, he has added a touch of spice to the game with the mega deals he swung for the National teams-and now he is taking it a step further with the partnership with oil & gas giant, AITEO for the NFF Awards.

With a wonderful performance as the NFF President, it was no surprise that he was soon elected to the CAF Executive Committee as the First Vice President.

In International Football, Pinnick is well-respected and is a Member of the Organizing Committee for Fifa Competitions. He is very close to world football president, Gianni Infantino.

This closeness was exhibited by how the body stood by Pinnick when some forces tried to scuttle his second term bid. And when he was elected into CAF, the fifa President wrote
“I have no doubt that your considerable experience, combined with your human qualities, will help you overcome all future challenges in your new position in the service of African football community .I look forward to continuing to work with you and seeing you in person to congratulate you.

Just last week, at the second edition of the NFF Awards which was aimed at celebrating the legends of Nigerian football, President Pinnick showed his gravitas and clout again, this time guess who was in town? The most important and powerful woman in world football, fifa Secretary-General, Fatma Samba Diouf Samoura was in Lagos, and she received a special award.

This debonair family man who attended the famous Hussey College and studied Political Science/Public Administration at the University of Benin is a man at the Pinnacle of an exciting career in football.

The first-rate sport administrator who loves swimming, spending quality time with family and attending comedy shows is a Master of the Game who more than deserves to be our Boss Of The Week.

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A’Ibom 2023: Umo Eno, Deputy To Receive Certificates of Return Today




Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) who won the March 18, 2023 will today, Thursday, March 18, 2023 receive his Certificate of Return as the Akwa Ibom State Governor-elect.

Pastor Eno will be presented with the certificate at the office of the Independen National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Uyo, the State capital, along with his deputy, Senator Akon Eyakenyi.

The ceremony where his victory at the polls where he garnered an overwhelming 354, 348 votes to defeat his closest opponents, Senator Bassey Albert, 136, 262 ( YPP) and Obong Akanimo Udofia, 129, 262 ( APC) would be affirmed is certain to be attended by his family, friends and supporters.

Pastor Eno who had since extended an olive branch to all his co-contestants has pledged to deliver democracy dividends to Akwa Ibomites through the ARISE Agenda while running an all- inclusive administration.

The electoral umpire had on Saturday March 25 in a statement signed by the Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Barr. Festus Okoye informed Nigerians of its decision to present the certificates to the victorious candidates in accordance with the law.

The statement read in part thus:

“By the provisions of Section 72(1) of the Electoral Act 2022, the Commission is mandated to issue a certificate of return within 14 days to every candidate who has been returned elected under the law.”

“Pursuant to the above provision, the Commission has fixed Wednesday 29th, Thursday 30th, and Friday 31st March 2023 for the issuance of certificates of return to Governors and Deputy Governors-elect as well as State Assembly members-elect.”

He further explained that the presentation will take place in INEC offices in each state of the Federation as Resident Electoral Commissioners and Administrative Secretaries of each state are mandated to inform the recipients of specific dates for the presentation”.


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ICC Confirms Receiving Ethnic Hate Petition Against Bayo Onanuga




The International Criminal Court (ICC) has acknowledged a petition by Professor Gideon Christian accusing Bayo Onanuga, Media Director to the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, of inciting ethnic hatred.

The ICC, however, said the acknowledgement does not mean that an investigation has been opened or that any action has been taken, but that the Court will consider the communication as appropriate.

The ICC’s acknowledgement letter, dated March 27, 2023, with reference number OTP-CR-109/23, was signed by the Head of Information & Evidence Unit, Office of The Prosecutor, Mark P. Dillon.

The acknowledgement letter reads: “The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents/letter.

“This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

“Please note this acknowledgement letter does not mean an investigation has been opened, or that an investigation will be opened by the Office of the Prosecutor. As soon as a decision is reached, we will inform you, in writing, and provide you with reasons for this decision.”

Prof. Gideon Christian’s petition wants the ICC to investigate election and post-election violence in Nigeria, as well as the alleged incitement to ethnic hate against Onanuga and others before, during and after the governorship election in Lagos.

In his complaint titled: “Request to Investigate the Election and Post-Election Violence in Nigeria, as well as incitement to Ethnic Hate by Mr. Bayo Onanuga”, the petitioner asked the ICC and the Office of the prosecutor to conduct an investigation into a series of ethnically motivated violence which resulted in injuries and death during the elections.

According to Professor Christian, Onanuga had issued a threat on Twitter, which warned individuals from Nigeria’s Igbo ethnic group that 2023 should be the last time they would be interfering in Lagos politics.

He said that promoting attacks against individuals from a particular ethnic group residing in a particular area violated international law. Professor Christian said that the international community must, therefore, take action to prevent a repeat of such acts and as well hold to account individuals involved in such international wrongdoing.

Professor Christian noted that the petition was brought Pursuant to Article 15 of the Rome Statute.

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Akwa Ibom 2023: Umo Eno Advocates Unity, Continuous Peace





… as 7 Guber Candidates Vow to Work with Governor-Elect
































































Akwa Ibom State Governor-elect, Pastor Umo Eno has advocated for greater bonding amongst the citizens and continuous peace across the state, especially as it sets to transit to a new administration
































































Speaking at a meeting with 2023 gubernatorial candidates of seven different political parties and some state party chairmen, he noted with dismay that the state has been polarised along party, ethnic, religious and other lines which has hampered progress.































































He noted that elections were over and the healing process must commence immediately, adding, “Akwa Ibom remains our common patrimony.”
































































The Governor – elect who reaffirmed that he has extended an olive branch to all his opponents said he was ready to lead the unity charge.
































































Pastor Eno who enjoyed overwhelming support at the last election, noted that political parties are just platforms for election of leaders, adding that only one winner can emerge through the process.
































































He noted that by the grace of God and support of the people, he has been elected, adding that as a man under such grace, he will always pursue peace for the good of al
































































Pastor Eno who has asserted that he is gifted in the ministry of reconciliation, appreciated candidates of the seven political parties who have accepted to share their ideas with him and work towards achieving a better Akwa Ibom State.
































































He urged them to reach out to other candidates who were yet to accept the reality to sheath their swords and join hands with him to build a greater Akwa Ibom.
































































He assured them that none of them would be left behind by his administration
































































According to him, “This is the way to go for us all,I see this gesture as the beginning of the healing process and I thank you for your felicitation, like I said shortly after my declaration, we will run an inclusive government. It is important that after this kind of election, we begin to work out ways to deliver service to our people. It will not be a winner takes all affair because no one will be left behind.”
































































Pastor Eno likened the governorship candidates’ forum as a class which must have a captain, adding that by God’s grace, he has been elected to be the captain who is prepared to serve for the overall good of other members of the class.
































In his remarks, the Chairman of Inter-Party Advisory Council , IPAC, Hon. Ubong Emmanuel expressed delight over the meeting, which he said was the beginning of greater days for the state.
































Speaking with newsmen shortly after the event, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Barr. Ita Ekpo said they were moved by the peaceful disposition of Pastor Umo Eno, stressing that anyone who genuinely aspires to serve the state cannot resist such hand of fellowship.
































































He noted that elections were over and the continuous peace, development, and unity of the state must not be sacrificed on the altar of individual ambition.
































































Barr. Ita said they were prepared to share their ideas and to support the governor-elect in any way possible to further on the development trajectory of the state.
































































It would be recalled that the group under IPAC had earlier congratulated Pastor Umo Eno on his success at the polls describing his victory as the will of God.
































































The message which was addressed to the governor-elect read in part, “Dear Governor-Elect, your resounding victory at the polls, is a further affirmation of the divine will of God at ensuring that not only the best candidate was elected and given the mandate by the people, but one who best understands where we are coming from as a people, where we are presently and who knows the best route towards attaining and achieving our target destination.”
































































The opposition parties expressed optimism that Pastor Umo Eno’s ARISE Agenda would serve as a vehicle to promote both economic growth and social cohesion throughout his term as governor of the state.































Aside from Ita, governorship candidates of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Social Democratic Party, (SDP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Action Alliance, (AA), Boot Party( BP), Peoples Redemption Party ( PRP), Mr. Nsikak Hogan, Mrs Emem Udoh, Mr. Eyo Ekong, Abasiekeme Ekanem, Akan Epenyong, Sunday Ekanem respectively, as well as the leadership of IPAC in the state, were in attendance at the lively gathering.




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