August 20, 2014 – Director –General of the National Sports Commission, Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye and the Chairman of Senate Committee on Sports, Senator Adamu Gumba were among the first prominent Nigerians to commiserate with the Nigeria Football Federation over a fire outbreak in the Glass House on Wednesday morning.
Both leading figures spoke when a team led by NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari called at their offices to inform them of the fire disaster. The NFF team also included Members of the Executive Committee, High Chief Emeka Inyama, Hon. Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, Alhaji Yusuf Ahmed Fresh and Mr. Ayodeji Tinubu, and the General Secretary, Barr. Musa Amadu.
Elegbeleye thanked God that no life was lost in the morning incident, which started with smoke spiraling out of one of the offices on the second floor before it became uncontrollable.
“We commiserate with you over this disaster but we are grateful to God that no life was lost. Our hope and prayer is that this should not have any serious effect on the programmes of the NFF,” Elegbeleye said.
Senator Gumba spoke in similar vein, even as he congratulated Maigari and his team for overcoming the recent crisis that threatened to tear Nigeria football apart.
Responding, Maigari assured that he had personally assessed the impact of the fire outbreak and that the programmes of the NFF and Nigeria football will not be affected.
“It is sad but we still have to be grateful to Almighty Allah. For one, no life was lost, and also, the impact is such that though a few offices including the General Secretary’s office were affected, this is not enough to affect any of our programmes.
“All that we need to get the Falconets going in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and to prepare the Super Eagles for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, and the U-17 boys for their African U-17 Championship qualifiers are intact.”
Also speaking on the incident, General Secretary of the NFF, Barrister Musa Amadu corroborated the assertion of the NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, that the fire outbreak will not in any way affect the programmes of the Federation.
“This incident is unfortunate, but we remain steadfast and focused on our programmes. As the NFF President stated earlier, our National Teams’ programmes will not suffer in anyway as a result of this fire incident.
“We suspect no foul play, and I can tell you that the Accounts department was not affected at all. All our financial documents are intact, and the trophies that we have won are also intact.”
Amadu thanked the Federal Fire Service, Julius Berger Construction Company, National Emergency Management Agency (whose Director General personally visited), officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps, State Security Service, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and other security agencies for their quick response.
“We are quite appreciative of all these persons and other Nigerians who came around and expressed their sadness. We want to assure everyone that this will not affect any of our programmes or our work.
“The fire has been put out and we are now getting a cleaning outfit to clean up the whole place and make it habitable as early as possible. Our work must not suffer.”
NFF spokesman, Ademola Olajire disclosed that the incident started with an electrical fault in one of the offices on the second floor.
“Some of us just arrived and were still outside the building when smoke started coming out of one of the offices on the second floor. The maintenance officers did their best to put it out but could not. We then started calling the Fire Service department and they came in good time.
“But then, the fire had broken out and affected some offices on the left wing, including the General Secretary’s office and the IT unit. However, the Accounts department, which is on the right wing, as well as the President’s office, were not affected in any way.”