The Gusau Effect: Why Nigeria Football Stakeholders Should Be Excited – Bayo Olanlege
By Akeem Busari
Football, for many cogent reasons has remained the opium of millions of people across the world and particularly, in Nigeria, where it has indeed, become a way of life.
It is not for nothing that despite the shenanigans that accompany the ongoing political events in Nigeria, many Nigerians are quickly to take solace in football matters. Many stakeholders and football enthusiasts who were hitherto despondent concerning the uninspiring fortunes of Nigerian football, are beginning to wear the garb of hope.
Since Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, assumed the mantle as President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), stakeholders are beginning to dream greatness, peace and untold development in Nigerian football, away from the immediate past rancorous leadership of the NFF.
One major stakeholder in Nigeria football and a true believer in the astuteness and inclusive leadership style of NFF President Ibrahim Gusau, is Bayo Olanlege, Chairman of Ekiti State Football Association. He believes Gusau’s leadership would engender a peaceful and progressive football ecosystem in Nigeria.
In a chat with journalists, the unassuming, hardworking and resourceful Ekiti FA boss, explained that the Gusau’s positive effect in Nigerian football would excite stakeholders.
“Beyond mere rhetoric, I have noticed some positive changes and effects in Nigerian football, since Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau became the NFF President,” Olanlege noted.
“Unlike in the past, there is now a better working relationship between the State FAs and the NFF secretariat, as correspondences are attended to faster in a professional manner, and of course, keeping in line with the global best practices.”
When asked how Gusau’s board has encouraged the development of grassroots football in the states, he responded, “the NFF president has made himself a servant to his people, rather than a tin-god. He is always available for the State FA Chairmen, never forming busy. You call him, he picks immediately and encourages you to talk freely, when he can’t pick calls, he returns calls and messages swiftly. Knowing you have a leader like that encourages anyone to perform.”
According to Olanlege, the football community is a less toxic environment. He noted that there is a better synergy with the managers of the NPFL, as the league is managed without unnecessary bickering. Adding that there is also a better working relationship between the NFF and the Sports Ministry.
On the mutual understanding and relationship between the NFF and State FAs, he remarked that unlike the previous administrations, that would do a roster, directing State FAs to hold elections on certain days, this present NFF Board understands and respects the fact that State FAs are affiliates and not subordinates.
“This time, they only send a friendly letter of advice and a reminder that State FAs should do what is right, to avoid unnecessary chaos. This is the exhibition of high sense of professionalism and mutual respect,” he noted.
Olanlege went ahead to describe the present feats of our various cadet teams and club representatives, as a renewed hope for a better and prosperous Nigerian football. Even as he admonished all critical football stakeholders, investors and enthusiasts to support the leadership of NFF led by Ibrahim Gusau, in the onerous bids to ensure Nigeria football regained its pride of place in world football.