on Saturday 16 October 2010, Complete Sports magazine did a poll to its readers titled: “Is Dr. Amos Adamu A Curse Or A Blessing To Nigerian Football?” I took my time to trawl through all the comments and feedback left by Nigerians. The result? The overwhelming majority of respondents concluded that, Dr Amos Adamu, erstwhile (now suspended) Nigerian representative on the Board of FIFA, world football’s ruling body, was not only a curse to Nigerian football, but was also a disaster waiting to happen.
And happened it did, eyes wide open to the Government of Nigeria.
Here are some excerpts: Adamu has used his power negatively on Nigerian football; Adamu is our problem and curse to our football and sports in general; Amos Adamu has proven over time to be a very mediocre fellow who is content with being (over the years) a government apologist and squandered several opportunities he has had to change the fortunes of football in this country; He is a curse, because of his selfish interests against that of Nigeria; Amos Adamu has been more of a problem than blessing to Nigeria’s football. He needs to be removed; Adamu has successfully taken the advantage of his connection with FIFA to enslave everyone involved in NIgeria Football, Isn’t that a curse?; He is the head of that cabal holding our football to ransom; Adamu is a blessing to Nigeria’s football, but let him quit for Odegbami, Okocha, Tijani Babangida, Taribo, Kanu, young ones to run our football house; Amos Adamu is not just a curse to Nigeria’s football, but an oracle that is killing Nigeria football; Adamu is a curse to Nigeria football he has spent too long in Nigeria football administration; Amos Adamu is simply the obstacle impeding the success of Nigeria football, not until we get rid of him, Nigeria football might never know peace; Adamu is using his ill-gotten money from All African Games, COJA 2003 to fund the crisis. He is the bane of Nigeria football. His arrest and prosecution is long overdue.
And of course, we have several positives for him: To me, Adamu is a blessing to Nigeria football, no matter what is happening now; Now Dr. Amos Adamu has shown himself as a patriotic Nigerian after solving all these problems, so he is a blessing; Dr. Amos, is a political sagacity in sport; Our football administration is not efficient. Therefore Dr. Amos Adamu is a blessing to intervene; Adamu is not the problem, try and pray for our NFF; Amos Adamu is indeed a blessing to Nigerian sports while disregarding those charlatans calling him a curse; Adamu is a blessing to African, football not only Nigeria; He is a respected sportsman in Nigeria. He has done so much for Nigeria football and he should be honoured. Thumbs Up for Dr. Adamu.
So much for that! Now that FIFA has decided to suspend him after their investigations into allegations of bribe-soliciting by two FIFA officials including Amos Adamu of Nigeria, it is now up to us to see the good or bad of Amos Adamu.
With his suspension, the conclusion is that he was guilty. To me, knowing his long history of corruption, mediocrity and mis-management, his guilt was never in doubt when the shit hit the fan, and his most recent misdemeanour was spread all over the pages of the newspapers and internet. What surprised me was his naivety and greed. Greed is something else. Of course if you are greedy, inevitably you will be corrupt. Greed has no end. Once you are greedy, you will always be greedy. Even repentance does not solve the vice. Greed is such that you have to be punished, because it is one of the seven deadly sins. It must not go unpunished.
In our Pidgin English, what happened to him was as a result of “long-throat”. Na long-throat kill am!
Adamu has been riding rough-shod over Nigeria’s sport for almost 20 years. He was Director General of the Nigerian National Sports Commission for ten years before being redeployed in November 2008. Prior to that, Adamu was the Director of Sports of the ministry for 10 years.
Amos Adamu holds a doctorate degree in physical and health education. He was a university lecturer before joining the National Institute of Sports (NIS). He was appointed the Sole Administrator of the Nigeria Football Association in 1992. After success (success?) in this position, he was then posted to the Federal Ministry of Sports as Director of Sports Development and was involved in the administration and organization of the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria and the Nations Cup in 2000.
In December 2000 Amos Adamu was named President for the Organising Committee for the 8th All-Africa Games (COJA) held in Abuja, October 2003, in the newly constructed Abuja Stadium. Adamu advised the government to sell this stadium immediately after the games in order to forestall the vandalisation typical of publicly owned buildings. Subsequently, there was controversy about the conduct of the games organizers.
In 2005, Amos Adamu was picked as a member of the organizing committee for the first ever World Cup Finals in Africa to be hosted in South Africa 2010. In 2006, Adamu led the transformation of the Sports Ministry to the National Sports Commission (NSC). Adamu became an Executive Committee member of the Federation of International Football Associationand the Confederation of African Football. In April 2007, Amos Adamu became the President of the West Africa Football Union.
In May 2008, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports and Social Development in Bayelsa State told members of the Senate Committee on Sports that problems with sports in Nigeria included corruption and dominance by a “cabal” led by Dr. Amos Adamu. In July 2008, Dr. Amos Adamu announced that the Nigeria Sports Commission had initiated an inquiry into allegations of corruption in the local league. The result of that inquiry is still to be made public.
On 6 November 2008, President Umaru Yar’Adua ordered the removal of Dr. Amos Adamu from the post of Director General of the National Sports Commission. Adamu, the Director General of the National Sports Commission was eventually redeployed to the Ministry of Special Duties after the removal of erstwhile Minister for Sports and Chairman National Sports Commission Abdulrahman Gimba, in a cabinet reshuffle. No reason was given. As of January 2009, Adamu was a member of FIFA’s 24-man executive committee. He was scheduled to appear in a Nigerian court to press a claim for £2.3 million damages he had laid 15 months earlier against a newspaper that published allegations of corruption. In August 2009, Adamu stated that problems in Nigerian sports since his redeployment had vindicated him. (Of course, he will say that, wouldn’t he?).
On 17 October 2010, nemesis and the prayers of patriotic lovers of Nigerian sports caught up with him, when it was reported in the UK Sunday Times that he allegedly agreed to receive £500,000 in order to influence the voting procedure with his vote for the 2018 FIFA World Cup bid. He denied any wrong doing. An investigation by FIFA banned him and Reynald Temarii from soccer administration.
Adamu just showed the stupid and crazy way officials steal in Nigeria – stealing without sense (not that I condone stealing with smartness). It is well known that FIFA itself is a corrupt body, from the head (Sepp Blatter) to the Board members. The CAF President Issa Hayatou is rogue as well, and he is Adamu’ Godfather.
Credit should be given to some upright Nigerian journalists like Olukayode Thomas and Patrick Omorodion who have been crusading for years that Adamu is corrupt, and some of whom have suffered the consequences by losing their jobs, as pressure was applied by Adamu on their editors.
Over the years, I have also written and published several articles on this corrupt, highly-placed, influence-wielding and totally ineffective and glory-seeking Nigerian sports official, (“Nigerian Football And Sports: Amos Adamu’s Influence And The Recent NFA Elections – Another Step Bac
kwards”; “Re: Amos Adamu To Investigate Corruption”; “Re: Where Are The Super Eagles?”; “The Death of Nigerian Sports And A Walk Down Memory Lane”; “The Super Eagles, The NFA And The African Nations Cup”) and I will say I am vindicated too.
We can only hope that before the end of the three-year suspension period of Adamu, some level of sanity would have returned to our football at the home front, and will serve as a lesson and deterrent to others in this country who see Sports as a means of making stupendous money, and that the right people will be in the right place, to save our moribund and comatose sports, especially football. We have been sick and tired of Adamu’s interference and stranglehold on Nigerian sport for 20 inefficient and corruption-ridden years. His greed, which knows no bound, has been his downfall, and I am pleased to say, it serves him right. I am someone who has been expecting him to come a cropper for a long time, and he has.
Now that the shit has hit the fan for him, because typically of a greedy man, he would never know when to stop, we may now know how much Adamu made from COJA 2003 when he was the main man in charge, including some highly-placed people in Obasanjo’s government who put a new meaning into “scamming the government”.
The files must be re-opened to ascertain the truth and the EFCC had better have the will and determination to verify them. It is a shame for Amos Adamu to be indicted by FIFA’s disciplinary committee. It is also a shame for our country, Nigeria, that such a highly placed official should be ensnared in such a naïve way, but the positive side is that God is taking out these corrupt people ruining our country one by one. The people Adamu forced on us in the NFF are now facing a battle not to be prosecuted and sent to jail by the EFCC. Do I shed a tear? No way! Them what has gets!
Amos Adamu has brought the name of the country into further disrepute, and should be made to face the consequences and the punishment back home in Nigeria (He has been out of the country since the story of his most recent, and I hope, final gross misconduct broke), and let the whole world know that we are serious about eradicating corruption.
Nemesis will always catch up with the greedy and the corrupt. It’s just a matter of time. Long-throat no good at all!
By Akintokunbo A Adejumo