By Victor Okoye
Abuja, Nov. 17, 2022 (NAN) Some Basketball Stakeholders have reacted to the “subtle imposition” of Musa Kida as the President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation(NBBF), by the Federal Ministry of Youth Sports Development.
They told newsmen during a press conference on Thursday in Abuja that the action of the minister was illogical, irrational, unreasonable and a miscarriage of justice.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Igoche Mark, a former player had emerged the winner of a parallel NBBF election held in Abuja, while Kida was returned as president at the other one held in Benin both on Jan. 31.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports had issued a directive that the NBBF election should hold in Abuja just like the other sports federation did in 2021, but that was immediately countered by the Kida faction.
The group under the umbrella “New Face of Basketball” questioned the methodology used by the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare to pick Kida as the NBBF President after publicly acknowledging that two elections took place on Jan. 31.
Scambo Morrison, Chairman of Kaduna State Basketball Association, told newsmen that the group had maintained silence for the sake of peaceful resolution and the amendment of the controversial constitution of the NBBF.
Morrison however added that the group had options at their disposal should the sports minister fail to retrace his steps, by doing the right thing.
“So, it is not news that the minister of Youth and Sports indeed acknowledged that there were two elections.
“But our big surprise till today is that the minister and ministry never came out to talk to us about the findings of those elections.
“As good citizens of this country, we have remained very quiet, calm and disciplined waiting to hear the outcome of those elections.
“But till this day, nobody has called this particular faction to say anything to them concerning the election.
“Instead, we now found out that there were couple of people parading themselves as the ‘custodians of basketball in Nigeria.We want the minister to know that we have options if he he fails to do the right thing,” he said.
The Kaduna Basketball Chairman stressed that the group needed clarification on how Kida emerged to become the president of the NBBF.
He noted that the minister had publicly acknowledged and pronounced that there were two elections and that his ministry was looking into the issue to make sure that things were resolved in the NBBF.
Kingsley Aigbonoga, the Director Media, Mark ‘D’ Ball noted that the Kida-led board had invited the warring faction to the reconciliation table, but said the group decided not to honour the invitation of the committee because the process lacked merit.
“Our attention was drawn to a supposed reconciliation committee, whose moves failed the test of ethics and philosophy of genuine reconciliation.
“We acknowledge that Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) is appropriate at any stage of conflict; this can only be done ethically by a neutral third party presiding over the dispute resolution.
“With due respect to the minister, we won’t subject ourselves to individuals whose tactics are to manipulate members of the public through mind coercion and thought-disruptive propaganda.
“The reconciliation process in the first place lacks merit, sincerity of purpose by it’s constitution and the steps taken so far, therefore unnecessary, and as such totally unacceptable to us.
“The fact that you decided to inaugurate a faction before the call for reconciliation betrays your desire to truly resolve the crisis, or a call for genuine reconciliation,”he said.
Also, Josiah Ahmedu, a basketball stakeholder faulted the NBBF Constitution, describing it as a one-man’s affair.
He also said that the previoisly held elections be cancelled and declared null and void so to allow for fresh and more credible elections into the NBBF board.
“We totally reject the election that took place in Benin, even though we heard that it had been endorsed by the minister.
“Let it be known to Nigerians that we don’t see it a legitimate election and for that reason, we call for a fair and credible election to be conducted for the NBBF.
“Secondly and most importantly, we want the basketball constitution to be looked into properly. This constitution is what has divided Nigeria Basketball family.
“This piece of document that was constructed, written, presented, endorsed, checked and emailed by one man is just an individual’s property and Kida is the custodian of that constitution.
“He had it at his disposal and chose to release it when he deemed it fit to do so.
“So, we say a capital no to that constitution. We reject it in its entirety and refuse to accept it as our constitution.
“In summary, all we want is a fair election and the ammendment of the constitution,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)