The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) FCT chapter, on Thursday in Abuja held a first of its kind Presidential debate ahead of the Nigeria Football Federation elections.
The event saw CAF’s Chief Safety & Security Officer, Dr. Christian Emeruwa, and FCT’s FA Chairman, Adam Mouktar Mohammed go head to head as the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare, represented by his Special Adviser on Media Mr. kola Daniel, Chairman NUJ FCT Council, Emmanuel Ogbeche and the crowd watch on in excitement.
Between the welcome address by Chairman of SWAN, FCT chapter, Bunmi “Blair” Haruna. and the closing remarks by Emmanuel Ogbeche, the candidates addressed critical points raised.
THE CANDIDATES SPEAK
Adam Mouktar Mohammed was quick to highlight his achievements as the FCT FA Chairman when quizzed on his reasons for contesting.
He said, “I have been in the position of the FCT FA Chairman for the last 3 years, and I see myself as a game-changer. We are in the 22nd century where football has evolved into business, with my experience of developing young players from zero to heroes, I’m very much suitable for the job.”
He also emphasized picking players from all over the country and helping them through the ranks, from the U-17 to the U-19 to the senior National teams.
“I have invested my time and money for over 20 years, and have gotten my hands dirty, so I know what is needed and what needs to be done. I resigned from my position, came into administration, and in the last 3 years, I can humbly beat my chest and say I am the best performing FA Chairman in the country.
“We came in with the promise that we wanted to develop facilities, and we have done it. We have trained over 120 coaches which you can verify, and have returned the Abuja league to the top in the country. Talking about international cooperation, I have brought Bayern Munich, making a home-grown player to sign for one of the biggest clubs in the world. So I understand the business of Football,” Mouktar boasts.
CAF’s Chief Safety & Security Officer, Dr. Christian Emeruwa prides in his continental experience.
“I sit currently in a position where I can see what happens in all 54 countries in Africa, and we have what is called the Directorate Review Session every Monday, where we look at the development and progress in each member association. Unfortunately, I sit at the meeting weekly and listen to how my country Nigeria is mostly at the bottom. In terms of development programs, progress in capacity building, league performance, and so on, and I said within myself, that in this coming election, I will not be sitting down anymore in the comfort of my office in Cairo, without coming back home to try and vie for the position.
“I consider myself fit for the position because this is my profession. I studied sports from my first degree to my Ph.D. at the University of Port Harcourt, and I also worked within the purview of the NFF for many years, where I was privileged to be in the very engine room that drives the entire process of Nigerian Football, which is the office of the Secretary. I have also worked with FIFA since 2015, in a job that has given me the opportunity to support the delivery of different competitions. I have also been able to join CAF to start up a department that was never in existence in the last 60 years of our African Football, and today, within 3-and-a-half years, that department is the second best in the world.”
“I thought that with my wealth of experience and knowing exactly the problems of Nigerian Football, it will be uncharitable to close my eyes, and not come back home to try to contribute,”
Christian Emeruwa said while answering questions on why he decided to vie for the position of NFF president.
The event had journalists and football fans gather at the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ) FCT Council Secretariat, Utako Abuja.