The Delta FA crisis took a new twist on Tuesday when Kenneth Nwamucha emerged the body’s chairman at a controversial election in Asaba, the Delta State capital, with ex-international Edema Fuludu insisting he remained the head of the state’s FA.
Nwamucha was declared winner at the election held at the indoor hall of the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba after he defeated Michael Anemeka by 26 votes to one in the presence of Nigeria Football Federation representative Ibrahim Gusau and Emmanuel Iba, the Akwa Ibom FA chairman.
Tunisia ’94 AFCON winner Fuludu along with ex-national teammate Victor Ikpeba were elected the DFA chairman and vice chairman respectively at an election in Warri in June 2019.
But in January, the NFF stated that the election didn’t follow due process and thereafter set up a normalisation committee to run football affairs in the state.
The committee scheduled a new election for Tuesday, amid outcry and protest from stakeholders, who insisted that Fuludu was duly elected in 2019 and should be allowed to complete his four-year tenure.
But Nwamucha maintained that he remained the legitimate DFA chairman, claiming the election into the state FA board last year was stage-managed by Fuludu without the supervision of the NFF.
“He (Fuludu) conducted the election himself in 2019 and there was no official from the Nigerian Football Federation to observe the proceedings, while the election that brought me in as the new chairman of the DFA on Tuesday was attended by representatives of the NFF, so my board is the legitimate one to run the affairs of our football,” Nwamucha told our correspondent.
Fuludu described Tuesday’s election as an “illegal contraction” and threatened to drag the NFF to world body FIFA.
The retired Eagles midfielder alleged that the NFF wanted him out of the state FA.
“The new board is an illegal contraction because the Delta FA already an conducted election in June 2019 and because there was pressure on me to allow the Chairman of the Delta State Sports Commission Tonobok Okowa to also become the Chairman of the Delta FA, the NFF decided that my election was not recognised,”
“When they set up this normalisation committee, two members of my congress went to court because NFF refused to set up arbitration to settle the matter.
“During this period, South South FA chairmen met in Ikot Ekpene, with all of them, except the Akwa Ibom chairman, signing that the normalisation committee was illegal.
“We then wrote to the NFF that they should set up an arbitration committee to resolve the validity of the normalisation committee because it’s not in the NFF 2010 statues and not in the 2014 electoral book. Its FIFA’s new idea meant to resolve crisis, but there was no crisis in the Delta FA.
“But they didn’t set up an arbitration committee. Instead, they forced the normalisation committee to conduct an election against a court order.
“The South South chairmen have said they won’t recognise the election. For us as an FA, we have also petitioned the Special Assistant on Sports to the President, Daniel Amokachi.
“If there is no justice from there, we will go to FIFA, that is the bottom line. We are already getting ready to petition FIFA,” Fuludu added.