Contrary to claims in a campaign of calumny against the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, that Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a prosecution and travel ban on him, he jetted off to Senegal on Sunday evening to carry out CAF duties.
The claim has been debunked by President Buhari with the Presidency describing it as “fake news” in a statement released by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media, Shehu Garba, on Sunday night.
African football ruling body, CAF is expected to announce the new host of the 2019 African Cup of Nations after its executive committee meeting scheduled for Dakar, Senegal today. Morocco, Egypt and South Africa are the front runners to host the competition, which was originally scheduled to hold in Cameroun.
Pinnick who is a member of the Executive Committee and 1st Vice President of the Africa Confederation is also the Chairman of the AFCON committee.
Cameroun was stripped of the right to host the continental fiesta when it became obvious the country would not meet the requirements for hosting the event. Apart from its inability to deliver facilities on schedule, CAF cited the security situation in the country, including the separatist activities of its Southern region, as reason for taking the competition away from Cameroun.
Already, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick has arrived the Senegalese capital for the meeting, which would also appraise preparations for the CAF awards scheduled for tomorrow.
Pinnick, who returned to Nigeria from Ghana on Friday, left Lagos for Dakar yesterday (Sunday), where he will join CAF President, Ahmad Ahmad on a trip to the slave island of Goree. Ahmad arrived in Senegal on Saturday.
Guests expected to attend the awards are Senegal’s President, Macky Sall, the president of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and former world player of then year, George Weah, who is now the president of Liberia.
FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Secretary General, Fatma Samoura are also among the guests in the gala night.
Just like last year, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will compete to be named Best African Player of the Year.
In the women category, Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala and Francesca Ordega will compete against South Africa’s Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana for the crown.
Before the ceremony tomorrow, President Ahmad will hold a press conference on the Island of Goree, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. Later, he will watch a game to honour the memory of Jules Bocande at the Leopold Sedar Senghor Stadium, where Senegalese 2002 team will play against a team of CAF legends.