Kida insists NBBF election must hold Saturday as Oyedeji clamours for new leaders
Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Caretaker Committee chairman, Musa Kida, yesterday, insisted that the federation’s election billed for Saturday in Benin City must hold as scheduled despite the postponement announced by the sports ministry.
The ministry on Monday announced the postponement of the election, saying it took the decision to pave way for resolution of some outstanding issues. But Kida is insisting that the postponement cannot stand, saying the NBBF has done everything possible to ensure a level-playing ground for all the candidates.
Kida, who cited relevant areas of the NBBF constitution to buttress his point, said the sports ministry does not have the powers to interfere in the NBBF elections.
He said: “Attention of the NBBF is drawn to an unsigned press release credited to the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, on several Social Media, dated October 24, 2021, stating that the NBBF Elective Congress slated for Benin City, Edo State, on October 30, 2021, as approved by the NBBF Extraordinary Congress of October 9, 2021, in Abuja, which was in line with the provisions of the 2019 NBBF approved Statutes, has been postponed indefinitely.
“This purported postponement is without any legal basis and indeed an usurpation of the powers of the NBBF Congress as enshrined in the NBBF Statutes. It is also repugnant to natural justice, equity and good conscience and amounts to an arbitrary use of power, after the ministry has confirmed on several occasions to the existence of our constitution and the supremacy of the NBBF congress to conduct its affairs as dictated by the NBBF constitution.
“We make the above statement affirming that after 2017, from the FIBA fact finding team’s visit to Nigeria in 2018, FIBA, supported by pronouncements by the Nigerian courts, had put to rest, who is the recognised president of the NBBF.
“The postponement of a duly approved elective congress under the guise of a nonexistent leadership tussle is, therefore, meant to mislead all concerned to justify this ultra vires act.”
Kida, therefore, called on members of the NBBF congress to continue preparations for the elections in Benin on Saturday.
MEANWHILE, a former captain of Nigeria’s men’s basketball national team, Olumide Oyedeyi, believes the NBBF needs a new set of administrators to lead it to better days.
Oyedeji told The Guardian on Monday that the crisis currently rocking the federation is being stoked by selfish and greedy administrators, who have been running the country’s basketball for ages and have refused to quit the scene for new, young and vibrant administrators to transform to body.
The former NBA star, who is also the vice president of Lagos State Basketball Association, said Nigeria’s domestic basketball would continue to dwindle if the right people are not elected to manage the sport.
“I don’t belong to any camp or faction ahead of the NBBF election. In fact, I am not happy that the past and present administrators of basketball in Nigeria are still seeking for positions in the NBBF.
“Some of them have been there for over 20 years now. How can things move in Nigerian basketball when these set of leaders are still in the corridors of power?
“NBBF needs new, young, vibrant and dedicated leaders to lead it. I will be a happy man when this is achieved.
“I am a product of domestic basketball development and it pains me that more talented players like me are roaming the streets because there is no active league to discover them. We need a total transformation in NBBF to grow the game,” he said.
Oyedeji said he had not made up his mind whether to contest for any position in the NBBF.
He said: “I am still engaged in consultations before coming out for any position. When I am ready, I will reveal my intentions to the public.”