…NPL orders secretary to take charge
By ROMANUS UGWU, Abuja
Seventh congress of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) has formally confirmed the dissolution of the Chief Rumson Victor Baribote-led league board. To avoid a vaccum, the congress ordered the acting executive secretary of the league, Tunji Babalona, to take over the administration of the secretariat, pending further directives from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The congress rising from its meeting held in Abuja despite the resolution of the league board on Monday to cancel the meeting, it, among other far-reaching decisions, hinged the removal of the board on what it tagged “executive rascality, managerial recklessness and high handedness,” stressing that Baribote was grossly incompetent to occupy the position.
“Congress resolved to set aside Articles 15, 24, 25, and 26 of the Nigeria Premier League Statutes- procedures for convening Congress- to legitimise the deliberation of the 7th Congress. The congress deliberated on the state of the league, especially the just concluded 2011/2012 season and agreed that it was the worst organised since the inception of the Nigeria Premier League in 2005.
“Congress frowned at the management style of the current board and expressed total disappointment in the inability of the board to positively react to the series of allegations of managerial recklessness, executive rascality, high handedness, disrespect for clubs, refusal to call for a congress, failure to secure a title sponsor for the league, and gross incompetence levelled against it.
“Consequently, congress invoked Article 22(n) and unanimously resolved that the board, which is an organ of the NPL as constituted be dissolved immediately, and mandated the Acting Executive Secretary to take over the affairs of the league, pending further directives from the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF),” the communique, signed by six-man drafting committee, read to the media noted in part. While enumerating other sins of the league board, the members of the congress, which has 19 clubs representatives in attendance with three NFF board members as observers further noted that: “The decision of the board to expel Ocean Boys FC from the league lacked due process and, therefore, be reversed.”
“The purported suspension of Chief Okey Kpalukwu and Mallam Farouk Yarma by the board chairman from NPL activities was in bad faith, not in line with the NPL Statutes and consequently has been declared null and void. The suspension of Hon Akin Akinbobola from NPL activities by the congress of the NPL inYenagoa, Bayelsa State on December 16, 2011 was lifted. The 2012/2013 league season shall commence on February 16, 2013 subject to confirmation by the NFF. The draw and pre-season activities for the 2012/2013 season shall hold in Kano at a date to be announced.
“The congress formally admitted the four newly promoted clubs, relegated four clubs and expressed optimism for a hitch-free 2012/2013 season. Congress commended the leadership of the NFF for its commitment to the growth of the league. We wished all the clubs and stakeholders a happy Christmas celebrations and an excellent new year,” they further noted. Meanwhile, the NFF board would during its Annual General Assembly (AGA) billed for Port Harcourt this week confirm the removal of the NPL chairman, Victor Baribote and the disolution of his board, just as the Nember high chief would not be part of the AGA due to his removal by the congress.
Speaking to Daily Sun Sports shortly after the congress, a member of the NFF board, who craved anonymity, argued that with his removal, desolution of his board and or the directive from his board, to step aside, he has consequently lost his position as the second vice president of the NFF, adding: “Certainly, Baribote cannot be part of the PH AGA. Is he coming as what? He is no longer a board member of the NFF executive committee even though his fate will be sealed during the AGA.”