Nigeria’s Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Solomon Dalung, has declared that the country will support the candidature of Issa Hayatou in the April 2017 election for the Confederation of Africa Football, CAF, presidency.
The Minister told newsmen in Abuja that Nigeria’s support was based on national interest.
He said, “For the presidency of CAF, when I invited them, I told them Nigeria’s position is to vote in favour of her national interest, and not too long ago, the Federal Government made categorically clear her position.
“And the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria is that, in view of the fact that Cameroon has been a major key player in the war against insurgency and the involvement of Cameroon in fighting for the stability of Nigeria, it will be out of the foreign policy context of Nigeria to abandon Cameroon.
“And the [then] acting president [Prof. Yemi Osinbajo] directed which I have communicated appropriately, that if the only vote that will come to Hayatou will be from Nigeria, Nigerians should stand with Hayatou.
“That it is outside our foreign policy, because we are not looking at football, but we are looking at the country Nigeria, what does Nigeria stand to benefit if it moves to the opposite direction?”
Dalung added that Nigeria was also giving full backing to the Football Federation’s President, Amaju Pinnick in his interest to contest for a CAF executive position in the elections.