Nigeria Football Federation’s Headquarters, Finance Department on Fire as Maigari Returns

Barely two days after the controversial return of Aminu Maigari, the embattled President of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, the headquarters located in the Wuse Zone 7 District of the Federal Capital Territory Abuja has been engulfed by fire.
The Federation’s spokesperson, Ademola Olajire, who confirmed the incident said the cause of the fire outbreak remains unknown at the moment but there was efforts to put it off.

It was gathered that offices of the President, Secretary General and the accounts department might have been affected.

The NFF is currently enmeshed in a leadership tussle with Aminu Maigari and Mike Umeh laying claim to the chairmanship of the football body.

The Federation’s Abuja Secretariat has declared that it was able to rescue some of the trophies won by the national teams from its offices after a blaze swept through the building on Wednesday morning.

Among the trophies saved were the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations trophy won in South Africa and the 2013 Fifa U17 World Cup trophy won in the United Arab Emirates.

However, thousands of records and financial documents were lost in the flames which started around 9:30am.

The fire according to the General Secretary Musa Amadu emanated from the left wing of the third floor of the NFF Secretariat.

The inferno burnt down all the documents in the accountant’s office, swept through the office of the general secretary and destroyed most of the documents in the office and in the offices in the left wing of the building.

Amadu described the incident thus: “I think the fire may have started from a power upsurge that happened at about that time. We tried as much as we can, but it is quite unfortunate.

“I have assured you, we are going to reassess those things that have got burnt, and those missing.

“We want to assure Nigerians that the job of the Federation would not be affected in any way, we would continue our normal duties until we get to the root of the whole thing,” he said.

Amadu who was on ground to salvage some of the document in his office, said they were able to rescue most of the trophies won by the country’s national teams.

In his reaction on arrival at the Secretariat at about 11.45 am, NFF President Aminu Maigari gave thanks to God that no lives were lost in the inferno.

“We are grateful to God Almighty that no lives were lost in the fire incident, we are optimistic that we would get over this incident, and I am sure that the security agencies would step in immediately to investigate what had happened,” Maigari told media.

Maigari only returned to work at the Glass House on Monday after several months of intrigues which saw him impeached by the board over allegations of fraud but he was reinstated under the orders of the international football body, FIFA.

Insinuations are rife that the fire might have been caused in order to destroy documents as members of the NFF board are still at loggerheads.

The problems in the NFF have seen contract negotiations with coach Stephen Keshi stall with less than three weeks to the Super Eagles’ opening pair of AfCON 2015 qualifiers against Congo and South Africa.

There is an increasing likelihood that the national team could be handled by a temporary coach before an agreement is reached with Keshi who led them to victory last year and took the team to the second round at the World Cup in Brazil.

Meanwhile, the fire was later has been put out but the assistant controller of Fire Service, Eyo Ime, told reporters that they are unable to confirm the cause of the fire at the moment. The Fire Service, however, suspects electrical fault.

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