“Stay Off Players Union Matter Or Be Charged To Court” – PFAN Warns Edo State Deputy Governor

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The First Vice-president of Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) and former Super Eagles star, Clement Temile has threatened to charge the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Phillip Shuaibu to court unless he washes his hands off Players Union’s matter.

Phillip Shuaibu was appointed as Chairman of seven-man Reconciliation Committee of Players Union set up by the Nigeria Football Federation to harmonise the two Players Unions. The NFF in a recent meeting gave the committee the mandate to set up new Players Union and draft a new constitution, and also gives new name to a newly created Union

In a swift reaction to what has been described as a ploy to further deepen the induced crisis that led to the break away ANPFU. The PFAN Task Force has condemned the move to set up a new players union as a misnomer and miscalculated attempts by the NFF to further strengthen its strangle-like hold on Nigeria football.

Speaking, the former Super Eagles star said, “How can non members who called themselves a committee be drafting constitution for existing body with Executive Members of which I am one of them? This won’t work while I am alive,Temile said.

“The Edo State Deputy Governor, Phillip Shuaibu is someone I respect so much but I will rubbish him if he allows himself to be used by the NFF for such dirty job.” He threatens

“We were in Benin with the Deputy Governor, Phillip Shuaibu following invitation sent to us, and we held meeting with ANPFU in the presence of the Committee led by the Deputy Governor.

“I was aware that a pre-meeting had been held between ANPFU and committee on how to carry out their plans. I am the chairman of the committee from PFAN and we wrote to him (Phillip Shuaibu) that the visit was a courtesy visit and not for settlement agreement between PFAN and ANPFU. But in the meeting he was trying to impose things on us.

“And as if that was not enough, they put up a constitution for Players Union without the consent of elected Executive Member of PFAN. I have never seen this happen before anywhere in the world. Bringing an interim government, changing of an existing name? Where did they get that power from? He asked rhetorically.

“At this level, I will personally take it up with him, rub him in the mud and end his political career unless he takes his hands off Players Union matter. He should concentrate on his political career, but thinking of using Players Union to score cheap political goals to seek favour from people will not work.

“I will charge him to court . You cannot appoint an interim government when my position is still valid for two years. He added.

Another top official of PFAN, Rumson Baribote insisted that unless the NFF wanted to act against its own statute. The statute didn’t give neither the federation nor the committee such power.

Shedding more light, Rumson Baribote said the first meeting held at the Sunday Dankaro in Abuja in 2022 was at the instance of the NFF and presided over by NFF President Ibrahim Gusau, also had in attendance the Deputy Governor of Edo State, His Excellency Phillip Shuaibu and Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, as well as, PFAN task force members that included Dahiru Sadi, Edema Fuludu, Austin Popo and Chief Rumson Victor Baribote.

Baribote stated that the meeting was supposed to be a continuation of an ongoing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Initiated by the Mohammed Kurfi led States Football Association Chairmen on the disputed September 30th NFF election which is pending in the Court of Appeal Abuja Division.

“That the PFAN task force was looking forward to an independent committee to address urgent reforms, imbalance, equity and fair representation in the composition of the NFF Congress, its Board and sub-committees in consonance with decisions reached at the meeting of 6th of December and previous meetings.

He continued, “the players union have no issues for reconciliation, and if even there are such issues it is not within the purview of the NFF to set up a committee to address such issues. Such issues if any, are internal matters of the players union as an independent organisation and does not require any external influence.”

Obviously miffed by the purported plans to form a new players union, beginning with a constitution drafting committee, Baribote rubbished the plans, stating that, “PFAN has a constitution, so what other constitution are we talking about here? I’m confused . Anyway to put the records straight, PFAN is one of the Statutory members of NFF as enbodied in Article 10.1 of the NFF Statutes 2010 as amended and Article 18(2) of same Statutes gives independence to the five statutory members of the NFF of which PFAN is one of them ‘to take any decision regarding their members without external influence’.”

“So one cannot imagine non members drafting a constitution that will bind members of an organization that you are not a member. I take exception to the plans to creat another Players Union, which for me, is for the purpose of further deepening the crisis,” Baribote added.