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Mark insists he is NBBF president, laments D’Tigress ouster from Women World Cup

By Alex Monye
27 June 2022   |   2:56 am
Sponsor of Mark D Ball Basketball Championship, Igoche Mark, at the weekend, maintained his claim as the duly elected president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), saying the fight to claim his mandate is still on.

Nigeria’s senior women national basketball team, D’Tigress.

• Call Mark to order, Ogunade urges stakeholders

Sponsor of Mark D Ball Basketball Championship, Igoche Mark, at the weekend, maintained his claim as the duly elected president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), saying the fight to claim his mandate is still on.

Mark, who welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to rescind the order withdrawing Nigeria from international basketball for two years, in a statement, commended the Federal Ministry of Sports for listening to the yearnings of Nigerians, especially, the pleas by former international players and key stakeholders of the game.

Mark, however, said he was saddened that the NBBF leadership impasse denied the women national team, D’Tigress, opportunity to take their place at the upcoming FIBA Women’s World Cup in Sidney, Australia.

He lamented that the ladies were made to bear the brunt of the regressive infighting, adding: “D’Tigress laboured and toiled to get the ticket but they have been replaced with Mali, and their efforts seem to have been wasted, while those that have held the game down are celebrating the president’s change of mind. Our ladies must not be the sacrificial lamb always.”

He warned those spreading fake news that he has conceded his position as the duly elected NBBF president to desist from making an already bad situation, worse.

“I am by this statement making a passionate appeal to all stakeholders of the game, that in accordance to the mandate given to me by genuine stakeholders of basketball on January 31, 2022, that I remain the president of the NBBF. There was never a time that the Sports Ministry asked me to step down for anybody. Besides, it is the responsibility of key basketball stakeholders to elect their NBBF president, as the seat is neither by appointment nor by selection.”

Reacting to Mark’s claims, NBBF Vice President, Babs Ogunade, expressed dismay that Mark is still claiming to be duly elected president of the federation.

Ogunade told The Guardian that Mark never followed the guidelines of NBBF/FIBA to emerge president of NBBF.

“It surprises me when Mark keeps saying he was duly elected president of NBBF. Kida was elected as NBBF president based on FIBA/NBBF guidelines, which supersedes any rules from the ministry.

“Are the delegates that rectified his election recognised by FIBA? The answer is no. He should meet the ministry to clarify issues and I believe at this point he should be called to order by relevant authorities.

“The rules that govern NBBF elections is clear and FIBA has recognised Kida as president of NBBF. The Federal Government did not suspend Nigeria from international championship for two years because of the leadership tussle in NBBF; it took the action for reasons I cannot understand.

“D’Tigress’ dream of being at the Australia 2022 World Cup has been shattered by FIBA’s decision to replace them with Mali. It is quite unfortunate things happened like this,” he said.

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