By Emeka Obasi

As controversy continues to envelop the Nigeria Football Federation, former Governor of Abia State and Pillar of Sports, Dr. Orji Kalu has made a passionate call for calm.

Kalu spoke on Wednesday when NFF President Mr. Pinnick Amaju led members of the board to his Abuja residence.

“Please, we cannot continue like this. I call on all stakeholders to consider national interest above everything else. Our country is too fragile now for any individual or group to threaten the only cord that gives all of us joy. Whatever it will take to achieve peace, I am ready to play a huge role," he told the officials.

The former governor added that what should pre-occupy the stakeholders is how to earn a ticket to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

“The Eagles are defending champions and we are just one leg away from elimination. Nigerians cannot afford to watch other countries do battle in their darling team's absence. Politics is around the corner. It is only football than can douse the tension," he pointed out.

Kalu also took time to comment on Stephen Keshi, whose contract was not renewed after a string of poor runs.

"Well, Keshi is my friend and I advised him severally. I had wanted him to take Ike Uche to the last World Cup but he had his reasons. Now I am sure he has also realized his mistake. We should forgive Keshi and move ahead. Maybe, we should have allowed him to conclude the Nations Cup qualifiers," Kalu said.

Keshi's position has been filled by Shaibu Amodu who will work in an interim capacity until the end of the qualifiers.