The presidential aspiration of Abba Yola, the former chairman of Kano Pillars has received a further boost as the Governor, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has endorsed his candidature to serve as the next president of the Nigeria Football Federation from Friday, September 30 in Benin City.
Yola, a Kano-born sports administrator has previously served as chairman of Kano Pillars when they won the Nigeria Professional Football League back-to-back, is in the race alongside 10 others to replace outgoing president Amaju Pinnick.
Ganduje’s lively reactions followed the formal request of Yola for the endorsement and support of the governor and government of Kano state at the Kano State Government liaison office in Asokoro, Abuja on Monday.
Yola, who is currently the Chief of Staff to Nigeria’s sitting Sports Minister, hailed the generosity and listless support of the governor, while explaining the motive behind his quest to head the nation’s football body for the next four years.
“Your Excellency, my mentor, I want immensely thank you for giving us this honour and I want let you know that the contest for the president Nigeria Football Federation,” Yola revealed to the governor and his cabinet members present.
“I decided to be part of the contest, because I believe I have the experience, knowledge and understanding to better the Nigerian football.
“My governor, as my mentor, I have to come and let you know this is my ambition, knowing fully well how you supported me when I was still at Kano Pillars, we had back to back win which gave us tickets to represent Nigeria at the continental stage. I know your contributions and that you have sports in your mind.
“As an astute politician that you’re, I am here to draw from your knowledge and experience in politics how to meander way to get to the top of my ambition.
“Your Excellency, I present myself to you as a candidate of Kano State, one of your subjects and one of your best men in the sports sector, as you’ve always been calling me. So, I’m here, your excellency to pay respect to you and to seek for your endorsement in the all-challenging task of becoming the next NFF President.”
In his cheering response, the Kano state governor applauded the sporting contributions and achievements of Yola, while pledging his full support to the aspiration of the Kano-born sports administrator.
“I am behind you, not because you’re son of the soil of Kano, but because you deserve it. You’ve have been in the sporting arena for a long time,” Ganduje enthused.
“I think you’ve been in the climate for long time and you’ve aclamatize yourself and therefore you’re a member of family of the sporting activities in Nigeria, you’ve have the experience, capacity, capability and the attributes of a sportsman, a sports administrator for that matter.”
According to the governor, Yola stands tall among the candidates as a product of former NFF president Ibrahim Galadima, having garnered a lot of sporting experience and capacity as his mentor.
“And this is not new to the people of Kano, I could recall Ibrahim Galadima, who is still very much around, if I can say you are his tutelage, I think I’m right, so knowing him, what he did, and his antecedents one can conclude that you can do the job,” he continued.
“I think you’ll go straight to hit the target and we’ll give you everything assistant because you know, you can lead the sporting activities in Nigeria especially the Nigeria football.
“So, we’ll do all what it takes to pray, campaign for you and I believe you’re the best candidate and Nigeria at this trying moment request the best candidate, considering our recent performance in the international scene.
“We require someone who will motivate, coordinate, lead and who understands international politics in the football sector, because it’s a global issue, no matter how much you do well as a country, you need to know the intricacies of the politics of the profession all over the world and I am sure, you’re equal to the task.”
This will be the second political attempt of Yola at the exalted office of NFF president, with his first in 2014 elections in Warri, Delta State where he missed out at the expense of to outgoing president Pinnick.