The Federal Government of Nigeria has reportedly ordered the Nigerian Football Federation to vote for Issa Hayatou in the upcoming Confederation of African Football elections.
This comes just weeks after NFF President Amaju Pinnick had revealed that the country would be supporting Hayatou’s main opponent, Ahmad Ahmad.
According to a source in the Presidency, vice-president Yemi Osinbajo told Pinnick to vote for Hayatou because of Nigeria’s ties with Cameroon.
“There is an existing joint relationship between Nigeria and Cameroon and most recently both countries collaborated in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency,” he added.
“We can’t afford to jeopardise this relationship.
“Pinnick has therefore been ordered to cast his vote for Hayatou even if every other country failed to do so, as Nigeria does not owe Madagascar anything.”
Ahmad Ahmad, who hails from Madagascar, is favorite to end Hayatou’s 29-year tenure as CAF President, and has support from FIFA President Gianni Infantino and many African nations.
“We have to follow the path of the rest of the world, as Africa cannot afford to be left behind. I believe that Africa is ready for change. This is the first time in the history of (Hayatou’s) Caf that there is a real and possible challenge to the leadership,” Liberia FA chief Musa Bility told the BBC on Monday.