The fortunes and welfare of Nigerian footbalIers is about to receive solid and better attention henceforth with the reconciliation meeting between Harrison Jalla’s NANF and Tijani Babangida’s led NANPF held last week Friday in Lagos.
Sporting Sun can exclusively report that the reconciliation meeting which was facilitated and convened by former footballer turned politician, the Executive Chairman of Surulere local government, Hon. Tajudeen Ajide, was well attended with over 30 past Nigerian football stars from different parts of the country converging on Lagos for the meeting was indeed, historic.
Former Green Eagles and 3SC star, Dr. Felix Owolabi who chaired the meeting began by praising the convener for his selflessness in the quest to ensure that the fortunes and welfare of Nigerian footballers, past and present are better represented and protected under a united and strong players union.
Owolabi fondly called ‘Owoblow’ in his playing days further admonished the two parties involved in the tussle for supremacy to shealth their swords and put the interest of the players at the forefront at all times.
Harrison Jalla, President of NANF, was quick to state that he was willing and ready to work with Tijani Babangida’s led NANPF, adding that he would step into the background if that would make room for a united players’union.
Tijani Babangida, was emotional as he recalled the frustrations and pains inflicted on the well being of Nigerian footbalIers, which he stated was occasioned by the country’s football administrators who have continued to encourage discord in the players union family, to further their selfish interests.
The ex-Super Eagles and Ajax Amsterdam winger added that he would be very happy if the both parties come together under one umbrella to fight the cause of Nigerian footbalIers.
Comrade Austin Popo, General Secretary of NANPF, was equally bent towards a united players’ union. He however, insisted on the needs for a properly structured union. While he also expressed his happiness and gratitude to the convener for the meeting.
Similarly, other ex- Nigeria international players such as Tajudeen Disu, Peter Nieketein, David Aigbovo, Edema Fuludu, Emmanuel Babayaro, Mutiu Adepoju, Clement Temile, Dahiru Sadi, the Akanni brothers, Ganiu and Waidi, and many others, also expressed their determination to ensure a new path is charted towards having a united players union for the country.
The reconciliatory meeting ended with the setting up of a 9- man normalisation committee charged with the responsibilities to create a new road map. The members include Tijani Babangida, Harrison Jalla, Austin Popo, Edema Fuludu, Emmanuel Babayaro, Tajudeen Disu, Clement Temile, Princewill Gbogbodu and Ikechukwu Enwezor.