By Azuka Ralph Chiemeka
The wisdom of our elders remain a myth and when they asserted that the “leopard cannot change its skin”, they didn’t mince words. This aptly describes the life and times of Wale Ajayi, who in his refugee camp in far away Canada, have lately been concocting stories which he circulates in his electronic platform withh intent to blackmail, mudsling, smear, disparage and in the process negotiate ransom.
Fanning the embers of a saddist and being enmeshed in the pull-him-down web, Wale Ajayi has gone to town with stories of an imaginary “impeachment” purportedly being hatched against the amiable President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who is also an Executive Committee Member of CAF. Going forward, I have diligently and painstakingly carried out my investigation and having spoken to many Executive Committee Members of the NFF, they affirmed that Mr Pinnick has been a team player, as all decisions reached are usually debated and inputs sought before they become workable policies.
On the Anambra FA elections, a Board Member told me point blank that the decision to set up a Caretaker Committee was a unanimous one arrived at by the Executive Committee of the NFF. He then described Wale Ajayi “as an evil and desperate interloper whose stock-in-trade has been to concoct stories, push same into the media space and expect negotiation from his victims”. A cross-section of the NFF Board Members described the impeachment story as mere balderdash which should not be taken seriously, as the source of the hoax is a known professional alarmist.
The world is a global village. If Wale Ajayi is following the trends in Anambra State as it relates to football development, it is a win-win situation at the moment. The ongoings in the Anambra State FA if anything, has elicited a spontaneous reaction from the State Government. With two football clubs in the State’s kitty, the authorities are set to build a befitting stadium and other sports infrastructure that will give employment to the teeming youth population.
As a follower of the game of football, knowledgable in the dynamics and theatrics of our environmment, I wish to also touch on some of Wale Ajayi’s scorecard which are full of odium and opprobrium. From his days as media officer of the National U-20 Team, he has always peddled stories from the figment of his evil imaginations. An insider in NFF confided in me “Wale Ajayi is sinking, he has been a peddler of evil news all his life, he’s wicked and inhuman. The NFF source further revealed how Wale Ajayi consistently collected monies from Barrister Solomon Dalung, erstwhile Minister of Sports and Youth Development, to appease him from carrying out his past time.
Sometimes last year, Wale Ajayi concocted a story about the health status of CAF President Ahmad Ahmad when he inferred that Mr Pinnick, who then was first Vice President wished Ahmad Ahmad dead so that he(Pinnick) can ascend to the coveted seat of President. This was the story that set the tone for bad blood, triggered distrust and deep rooted animosity between Ahmad and Pinnick.
In the concocted story which he stupidly captioned “CAF Presidency, Pinnick targets sick Ahmad’s seat”, Wale Ajayi quoted Pinnick to have told people who cared to listen that the former President of Madagascan Football Association has a terminal health problem that could force him to retire from his position as CAF President, paving the way for him(Pinnick) to take over anytime soon. How more evil can one be? Is it not against nature for Wale Ajayi to be this extreme in wickedness, treachery and diabolism? Indeed, he is a student and patron of mischief put together.
Mr Pinnick couldn’t have, in any forum, whether in a dream or in true life situation, wished for Ahmad Ahmad’s death. Wale Ajayi deliberately cooked the story, sold the dummy to Senator Ifeanyi Uba, who in turn informed his friend, the first Vice President of CAF(from Congo DRC). This actually set the tone of a collision course between the personalities involved. Every discerning mind can deduce from the point when there was no love lost between Pinnick and Ahmad Ahmad.
After the seed of discord has been sown by Wale Ajayi, Ahmad Ahmad together with his new found love and associates in Constantine Omare and Leksjaa, First and Second Vice Presidents respectively, it became obvious that Pinnick will have to contend with an unholy alliance thenceforth.
I will say for the umpteenth time that Wale Ajayi is a student of mischief, a devil incarnate and a wicked soul. He knows nothing about the workings of CAF, but has turned himself into a willing tool, a hireling, and an expert in blackmail merchandise. As a blackmailer-in-chief, he relishes on fake news, chicannery and yellow journalism, deploying the potency and instrumentality of the mass media to scuttle relationships and cause institutional crisis.
I wish to share some information to educate Wale Ajayi to redirect his psyche and channel his energy into more productive ventures. It is for his own good. Mr Pinnick swam in murky waters when he further insisted that Ahmad Ahmad must embrace the imperativeness and dynamics of fiscal discipline, organisation as it relates to governance, equal respect for Presidents of Football Federations and aligning all departments and committees to function optimally.
When Ahmad Ahmad committed an infraction by appointing a General Coordinator while there was a seating General Secretary of the Continental Football Body, Pinnick was quick to say that the act contravened the statutes. It was curious in the estimation of other Executive Committee Members that the apppointed General Coordinator(a Moroccan) was a dentist and a name alien to the CAF family.
Another issue that drew the ire of Ahmad Ahmad and his loyalists against Mr Pinnick was the latter’s insistence on justice and fair play which are in tandem with the spirit of the game of football. During a Champions League match between Esperance FC of Tunisia and a Moroccan Club side, the Moroccan team protested and stopped playing. CAF initially awarded the match to Esperance FC as the winner, in line with the rules of the game. However, Ahmad Ahmad reversed the earlier decision and ordered a replay. Esperance FC lodged a protest which was eventually upheld and Pinnick, even with a minority opinion became vindicated. This further led to the deterioration of trust and goodwill between Pinnick and Ahmad Ahmad.
It is an open secret that Ahmad Ahmad had at different fora acknowleged how phenomenal and instrumental Pinnick was, to the realisation of his dream to become CAF President. Perhaps, Pinnick’s “sin” is that he is a man that sticks too much to due process.
In my last missive, I did say that my relationship with Mr Pinnick dates back to 25 years running. I am privileged to know that he is a man with a large heart and very principled, that he wouldn’t cow toyed when it comes to standing by his convictions. Mr Pinnick championed the cause for Ahmad Ahmad to emerge as CAF President. He has no regrets doing what he did. He hosted no less than 20 Football Federation Presidents in Abuja to effect the desired change of leadership in CAF.
I can swear on oath that I was privy to the power play, intrigues, challenges, mindgames, conspiracy theories, name dropping and state power influences that were at work during the campaign for the CAF presidency. I am aware of how Mr Pinnick criss crossed the continent of Africa and even Europe to sell the candidacy of Ahmad Ahmad even at great financial cost, health risk, inconviniences and threat to his personal security and safety.
Truth be told, I accompanied Pinnick to most meetings and saw for myself how jittery some members of his group were. It was Pinnick that told Ahmad Ahmad unequivocally “Ahmad, you will become CAF President”. When all hopes seemed lost, Pinnick inspired confidence and members of his group kept faith alive.
It is unfortunate that Wale Ajayi is pursuing a sinister agenda. It is even more unfortunate that he has resorted to using Mr Pinnick as an endangered specie to execute his satanic and voodoo aspirations.
In CAF, it is a common knowlegde that Pinnick weild a great influence. As Chairman of the AFCON Organising Committee, he played a role in the appointment of Senator Ifeanyi Uba into the Committee for which the distinguished Senator paid glowing tributes to Pinnick amongst others on the appointment.
One thing the Wale Ajayis of this world do not know is that Mr Pinnick’s success story did not just start today. Those who attended the University of Benin from 1990-1994 could attest to his business acumen, dexterity and savvy. Pinnick was instrumental to some biggest showbiz programmes on campus. He brought the raves of the moment like Shina Peters, Daniel Wilson and the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti to perform on stage. Pinnick was truly a businessman in school and had a retinue of motorbikes plying the road and remitting money to him.
Today, Pinnick could boast of a conglomerate of successful businesses trading in the brand of The Brownhill Group. The group is an almagamation of businesses in offshore oil support services, civil engineering, real estate and property, events and entertainment, to mention but just a few. Pinnick also hails from oil-rich Escravos, that contributes about 30% of the national wealth. Being the sole host of Chevron and other oil majors, Pinnick latched into the local content policy and has played some business role in the upstream and downstream sectors.
In Warri, Delta State where Pinnick was born and bred, The Brownhill Foundation is a household name. This foundation, a non-governmental organisation has over the years offered succour to the less privileged, scholarship to indigent students, health outreach to the elderly and widows, lifeline to ex-footballers, facelift to public primary and secondary schools, to mention but a few. Indeed, I have represented Mr Pinnick in many occasions where religious bodies and civil service organisations presented award of recognition for his service to humanity. His country home in Warri has been a mecca of sorts since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, as his wards at his behest continue to distribute palliatives of different kinds to the under privileged of the society.
The hardworking, visionary and indomitable President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Melvin Amaju Pinnick is a child of destiny. He is described in some quarters as the literary cat with nine lives. When I spoke to him to stem the tirades and tantrums being thrown at him by Wale Ajayi and his sponsors, I’m surprised that he waved off any idea of a fight back. But I will urge the NFF authorities to officialy write to the Canadian Football Federation and the Canadian Embassy in Nigeria and Canada to keep Mr Wale Ajayi under watch. Whatever privileges he is enjoying today in Canada, it could be attributed to the NFF who gave him the exposure of a bigger world and letter to facilitate his status as an immigrant. He is literarily biting the finger that has fed him. One day is for the thief, as they say, and another day is for the house owner. The likes of Wale Ajayi will definitely pay for their crimes and their negative antecedents consigned to the dust bin of history.
. Chiemeka, a football buff wrote in from Lagos.