Elders and other football stakeholders in Ondo State on Friday met to to end the lingering crisis that had been rocking the state Football Association (FA).
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the crisis in the state FA had been affecting plans to conduct elections into the local council and the state boards, with the recent one leading to postponement of the June 11 local council election.
Dele Ogungbemi, former Ondo FA Chairman, who led football stakeholders to the meeting, told newsmen in Akure after the meeting, saying it was the first in the series of meetings to be held.
Ogungbemi said that by the end of the meetings that would follow the inaugural one, reconciliation would have been achieved between Otunba Dele Ajayi and Otunba Dele Ologbese, the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman,respectively.
He said both gladiators were given the chance to bare their minds and from the discussions, Ondo FA issues would be resolved.
“I must say that we had a good time, and the people of Ondo State will soon know that we are genuinely interested in football which will take another dimension.
“This is the first time we are doing this in the state and it will be a continuous one, elders have talked and the words of elders are binding on all.
“We are going to adhere strictly to what they have said, it is not yet over, but everything will be settled 100 per cent by Saturday,” he said.
The chairman, Ajayi, appreciated the convener of the meeting for their timely intervention into the lingering issues.
He added that both party’s differences were put aside to attend the meeting and issues raised were almost settled 80 per cent.
“We are one big family, the elders have called us and we can’t refuse them and we have abided with their settlement.
“We are one, Dele Ologbese is my friend, we attend the same church, we sit on same chair in the Church and we can’t fight, its some people that are between us.
“We have decided to put those people behind us to move football forward in the state, everything has been settled at least up to 80%.
“Next season, both of us we will work together so that Ondo State’s darling team, Sunshine Stars will win a continental ticket,” he said.
Also, Ologbese said he was a man of peace and all that was happening was in the interest of football development in the state.
He added that the meeting would continue on Saturday which, he said, would be a historic day for football in the state.
“It is true that the two parties have the interest of football at heart, we want to make sure that we take football to greater height in all ramifications, that is why we resolved between ourselves to allow peace to reign permanently in Ondo State football.
“We are of the same family. We must resolve our differences so that football can take an enviable place in Ondo State.
“Because there is nothing to gain from wranglings, that is why we agreed that representatives of the two parties will be in a meeting where we are going to holistically address all the issues between the two parties.
“We are capable of resolving our differences amicably without any interference from outside the state.
“Come Saturday, we are going to resolve all our differences and Ondo State football will move forward,” he said.