Kida spits fire! Basketful of palaver ahead of basketball federation election

Kida spits fire! Basketful of palaver ahead of basketball federation election
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Musa Kida

More problems have arisen ahead of the election into the Nigeria basketball Federation (NBBF) slated for this Saturday in Benin City.

While on Monday, it was circulated that the election has been put on hold by the sports ministry through a statement credited to the permanent secretary, Ismaila Abubakar, the immediate past president of the NBBF and chairman of caretaker committee, Musa Kida has reportedly kicked against the postponement and tagged it a usurpation of power.

Kida, who looked like the reason for the suspension of the Saturday election reportedly remarked that the action was an arbitrary use of power.

In an earlier media release, the sports ministry was reported to have remarked: “Having reviewed the crisis around the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) and in consideration of the several attempts by the supervising Ministry to resolve the lingering crisis and fractionalization in the Basketball family, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) hereby directs an indefinite suspension of the NBBF Elective Congress scheduled for 30 October, 2021 in Benin City. All concerned Stakeholders are expected to take note and comply.

“This decision is necessary to avert further deterioration of the leadership crisis and towards finding a workable solution to the current disagreements within the Federation. The rancour-free Development of Basketball in Nigeria is of utmost importance.

“The recent elections into the NBBF Board from the various Constituencies (i.e Zones, NAWIS, Military/Paramilitary, NAPHER.SD, etc) stand and those elected there from remain Members-Elect”

While most of the minister’s media aides contacted by Sports Village Square were not willing to make statements, another media release from various on-line platforms emerged on Tuesday and was reported to have been issued by Musa Kida. It reads:

“The attention of the NBBF is drawn to an unsigned  Press Release credited to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports (FMY& S), on  several Social Media, dated 24th October, 2021, stating  that the NBBF  Elective Congress slated for Benin City, Edo State,  on the 30th of October, 2021,  as approved by the  NBBF Extra Ordinary Congress of 9th  October, 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 recognized President of the NBBF.  The postponement of a duly approved Elective Congress  under the guise of a non-existent  leadership tussle is therefore meant to mislead all concerned in order to justify this ultra vires act.

“This contradicts the followings, in every material particular;

 a. The FMY&SD had clearly stated vide their press release dated 30th of October, 2021 that the NBBF is amongst the 6 National Sporting Federations that have their approved Constitutions and these will guide their Electoral processes.

b. That at the request of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), FIBA wrote a letter affirming that it had approved the NBBF Constitution which shall be the document to drive the NBBF 2021 Elections.

c.  After several meetings called  by the ministry and the NOC, between the Chairman, Caretaker Committee and the former NBBF President, Tijani Umar, the FMY&S released a  Press Statement dated 30th September, 2021,  to the effect that the NBBF Constitution approved by FIBA is sacrosant and its provisions shall be the binding document for  the conduct of the  2021 NBBF Elections.

“Based on the above, and in line with the provisions of the NBBF Constitution, the Federation held an Extra Ordinary Congress in Abuja on 9th October, 2021. The Congress, inter alia,  set up an Electoral and Appeals Committee and approved  Benin as Venue for the  Elective Congress (by  24  Yes Votes against 2 No Votes), which was also approved to take place on the 30th of October, 2021,  in strict compliance to the provisions of the 2019 NBBF statues.

“It is instructive to state that the Permanent Secretary, who issued the Press Release, postponing the  Elective Congress  scheduled for 30th October, indefinitely, delivered the Key Note Address at the Extra Ordinary Congress of 9th October, 2021. Also in attendance were the Representative of the NOC, Engr Tikon, Who was delegated to attend by the NOC President, Engr Habu Gummel and Director FEAD at the FMY& S Dr S. Evbojaiye.  

This purported postponement by the Permanent Secretary, FMY& S, which has acknowledged that only the NBBF Congress has the powers to act, in line with the NBBF Statutes,  leaves much to be desired. It  is clearly an overreach to usurp the powers of the NBBF Congress, since the NBBF has a functional and approved statutes.

“It is also instructive to note that all arrangements have been put in place for the Elective Congress in Benin and FIBA has already taken note of the date of the elective congress and has nominated a representative to monitor the Elective Congress. All the delegates to the elective congress have received their letters of Invitation and are ready to attend. All these congresses at a huge cost to the federation that has an deficit treasury.

“We fully know that FIBA aware and is vastly informed on this matter.

“ In view of the full arrangements already made for the Elective  Congress in  Benin, on the 30th of October, 2021, We hereby wish to inform all invited delegates and Candidates that the NBBF is still going  ahead with the Elective Congress as approved by the Extrordinary congress of the 9th of October, 2021,  unless it is decided otherwise by the NBBF Congress. “

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