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30.10.2013 Nigeria

Salary Backlogs: HURIWA Accuses NFF Of Sabotage

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
Salary Backlogs: HURIWA Accuses NFF Of Sabotage
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Vexed by the disclosure recently that the nation's most successful indigenous Senior national team Coach Mr. Stephen Okechukwu Keshi and his two assistants are owed six months cumulative salaries of N49 million, a development focused Non-Governmental organization-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS' ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has accused the Nigerian Football Federation [NFF] of plotting to sabotage/derail Nigeria's qualification to the forthcoming Senior World Cup.

In a statement by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Director of media-Miss Zainab Yusuf the Rights group also urged the anti-graft agencies- Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] and Independent Corrupt practices and allied offences commission [ICPC] to take professional interest regarding alleged disappearances of obscenely huge financial resources from the coffers of the “ethically challenged” Nigerian Football Federation.

Describing any sinister plot to undermine Nigeria's qualification through the withholding of earned and meritorious salaries of the Nigeria's senior football team's coaching crew as a threat to national security, the group also urged President Goodluck Jonathan to direct the office of National security Adviser to liaise with the relevant committees of the National Assembly to jointly probe the rationale for football federation's foot- dragging to clear the backlog of salaries owed these Iconic statesmen who have brought global sporting pride to Nigeria by winning for the first time in the last 19 years, Africa's cup nation.

HURIWA affirmed thus; “We are worried that the Nigerian football federation is out to demoralize Nigeria's National Senior football coaching crew by trading with their salaries in the last six months just so that Nigeria may cave in to Ethiopia in the final deciding leg of the qualifying matches to the next senior football World Cup in Brazil. Because of the serious security threat that Nigeria's inability to qualify may occasion, we hereby call on President Jonathan, the National Assembly and the anti-graft agencies to investigate this untoward development”.

Besides, HURIWA urged the National Sports Commission and the Federal Ministry of Sports to partner with the sports ministries in the federating units across the country to develop and actively implement a national sports policy that will focus on deliberately catching sporting talents that abound in Nigeria rural communities and to revive the Secondary Schools Sports because of the enormous employment potentials that abound for the nation's teeming youth should the necessary enabling environment be created by government for the involvement of credible private sector firms in the development of sports especially at the grassroots.

The group challenged the Federal Government to ensure that the outcomes from the recently organized national conference on Sports staged by President Jonathan are effectively and efficiently implemented so they would not be consigned to the dustbin of history even after humongous public fund were spent to host the sporting talk shop in the nation's capital few months back.

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