By Gabriel Oguda via Facebook
Dennis Oliech has come out guns blazing tearing into Sam Nyamweya and the Football Kenya Federation. He wants FKF to keep off the running of the top flight league, and he wants fans and players to come out on Monday and ask Nyamweya to resign. This, my friends, is where we get it wrong.
No one expected Dennis Oliech to support Nyamweya anyway. After al,l his blood brother – Ken Oliech – has already expressed interest to become FKF President in the October elections, with Dennis being rumoured as the chief bankroller. Dennis Oliech, therefore, with all his good intentions of sweeping the house clean, is an interested party in the latest standoff and can therefore not be relied upon for a non-partisan judgement. A hyena waiting for a swinging arm to fall off is the last person to ever save a bleeding limb.
Yesterday, just when Oliech was sharpening his knives for Nyamweya, another footballer in Nigeria was being elected to the Nigerian FA. Jay Jay Okocha – so good they named him twice – was on Friday elected chairman of the Delta State Football Association.
The former Super Eagles captain, one of only two Nigerian footballers to play at three FIFA World Cup finals, polled 26 out of the 27 votes cast. He replaces Amaju Melvin Pinnick, who announced his intention to relinquish the post on the very day he was elected President of Nigeria Football Federation, last September.
Okocha becomes, if you like, the second most powerful football administrator in Nigeria. The Delta State is no arena for cowards. It is home to the bloodiest conflicts between foreign oil corporations and minority ethnic groups who feel they are being exploited. It is home to the finest footballers Nigeria has ever produced. Sunday Oliseh – you will remember him for the thunderbolt strike against Spain in World Cup 1998 – and Emmanuel Emenike leading a star-studded roster of football big-hitters to ever emerge from Nigeria’s talent incubator. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the current Federal Minister of Finance and Coordinating of Economy and former World Bank Managing Director, also hails from the oil rich State.
Dennis Oliech hails from Seme, Kisumu County, and I keep telling you the descendants of Migele have no shortage of talent. Seme Pod Pek. We have only seven months to the next FKF elections in October and you’d expect football stakeholders, players, and fans, to be doing grassroots mobilization strategizing on how to unseat Sam Nyamweya. Instead they’re tweefing online and writing some things my grammar teachers would never be proud of reading.
Unseating Sam Nyamweya will never be a walk in the park. Big Sam was with Deputy President William Ruto in Youth for KANU 1992 (YK92). Kenya had just been ushered into multi-party politics and President Moi needed blood-thirsty youths to comb the grassroots intimidating opponents and collecting votes. You will also remember 1992 as the year the 500 shillings note was introduced, as the highest denomination, into the Kenyan market. Where I come from, they nicknamed it ‘Jirongo’.
The former Lugari MP was the most notable YK92 figure in Western Kenya and Upper Kavirondo. They used to walk with stashes of brand new 500 bob notes to buy votes and hire hooligans to advance the KANU hegemony. There is nothing about underhand tactics that Sam Nyamweya doesn’t understand. Press releases and Facebook updates will never move this guy.
Nyamweya is not alone. FIFA President Sepp Blatter – the 78 year-old Swiss, is running for a 5th term this May. Issa Hayatou, the aging Cameroonian, has been President of CAF since 1988. This year, during a CAF meeting during the Africa Cup of Nations, Hayatou proposed the scraping of a statute limiting the President’s term of office. If ratified, it will make him rule for life. Both Blatter and Hayatou are Sam Nyamweya’s blossom buddies.
Just two weeks ago, Big Sam was in Zurich, at the FIFA headquarters, for a private meeting with Blatter. Anybody belonging to this league of oldies determined to hang onto power till eternity cannot be moved by mere social media updates. President Moi once said KANU will rule for 100 years. All the presidents Kenya has ever had owe their allegiance to the grand old party. it is difficult to argue with the self-proclaimed ‘Professor of Politics’.
I sympathize with KPL on this latest standoff. They just got the most battle-hardened man on the opposite side of the ring. Anyone else and they’d be having a walkover. I would like to urge Kenyan payers to wake up from this obsession with social media and get their hands dirty, for once. This is no time to wear those tank-tops and pancake makeups posting selfies on social media.
You are coming with knives to a gunfight. Kindly adjust your hardware accordingly.