The Nigerian Rugby Football Federation (NRFF) has revealed the reasons for the removal of Ntiense Williams and subsequent appointment of Abubakar Yakubu popularly called “Yaro” by his colleagues on the rugby field as its Acting Technical Director.
The spokesman of the NRFF, Debo Oshundun, informed newsmen that Williams was removed by the board in January during a well-attended board meeting held in Abuja in order to ensure that the long term objectives of the federation were held paramount.
“Ntiense Williams has been removed since January during our board meeting that was attended by all board members in Abuja.
“Dele Coker, the manager of National team was initially appointed but he couldn’t combine the two tasks together effectively. So we now decided to bring in the manager of Arewa Club, Yaro, who was also a former national team player and the whole board agreed.
“Williams can’t hold anybody into ransom. He will leave his official duties for other things. He make statements about Nigeria in Mali, is he the President of the federation?
“Despite the fact that he has been removed, he even went ahead to represent the Rugby Federation at the meeting between the federations and the sports ministry.
“However, our Vice President was there to represent us and he reported back to us.
“He has been going round representing rugby without the approval of the board. He didn’t get there through election, we appointed him. The board appointed him and has the right to remove him if we chose to. He can’t force himself on us.
“If the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) decided tomorrow they want to remove the national team coach, is it not their right or must they conduct election before taking such decision? They are the one that appointed him.
“He cannot be talking for the sports ministry because we don’t have any problem with them,’” the NRFF spokeman said.
Oshudun had earlier issued a press statement on the choice of “Yaro”, whom the NRFF President Kelechukwu Mbagwu says was suitably qualified for the role as an ex international and the current coordinator of the Northern Nigerian Rugby Union.
“He has the experience, he has the knowledge and the ability to represent the country internationally,” said the President.
Yakubu who is known as the “no nonsense” founder of the Sabon Gari Rugby Club currently playing in the Northern league. The choice of “Yaro” is a very popular one because of his previous exploits on the rugby field.
”He is highly respected for his efficiency and effectiveness with which he coordinated the Northern league (known as the oldest league in the country) during last year’s highly successful rugby campaign.”
Mbagwu, however, advised the rugby loving public as well as all sports authorities in the country to take note of the change of personnel and only deal with the official appointees of the board of the NRFF for any matters pertaining to the sport of rugby going forward.