NBBF ELECTION: Kida, Sports Ministry At ‘War’ – …Election Suspended Indefinitely – Sports Ministry …No, Your Statement Is repugnant, An act of usurpation – Kida
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By Amaechi Agbo
The Crisis rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF got messier on Tuesday as the ministry of youth and sports development and the embattled caretaker committee chairman of the federation, Musa Kida are engulfed in a relentless ‘war’ of superiority, www.bestchoicrsports.com.ng can report.
The ministry of youth and sports through a statement signed by its Permanent Secretary, Afolabi-Oluwayemi Olabis, on Monday, October 25, announced the indefinitely suspension of the planned October 30th election into the NBBF board citing the unresolved imbroglio as the yardstick for the decision.
The statement said: “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 therefrom remain Members-Elect.”
But almost immediately, the Caretaker Committee chairman of the board of the NBBF, immediately released a rebuttal statement discredited that of the ministry and insisted that the election “will go on as planned.”
Mr Kida has been engulfed in heated confrontation issues with major stakeholders in the federation including players who want him out.
Must in his statement he personally signed headlined “NBBF Elections to hold as scheduled,” said:
The Nigeria Basketball Federation elections has urged basketball stakeholders to ignore an unsigned press statement credited to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports (FMY&S) on several Social Media platforms indefinitely postponing the NBBF elections.
The move to postpone the 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, is in contravention of the provisions of the 2019 NBBF approved Statutes.
In a statement signed by the Caretaker Chairman of the federation, Engr Musa Kida, the purported postponement is illegal and a direct usurpation of the powers of the NBBF Congress as enshrined in the 2019 NBBF Statutes.
The statement described the move as repugnant to natural justice, equity, good conscience and an arbitrary use of power after the ministry and the Nigeria Olympics Committee had on numerous occasions confirmed the existence of a valid constitution as sanctioned by the Federation of International Basketball Associations in conducting its affairs as dictated by the NBBF constitution.
“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.
The move clearly contradicted the Ministry’s letter dated 30th of October, 2021 recognising the NBBF amongst the 6 National Sporting Federations with approved Constitutions to guide its Electoral processes.
“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”.
“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 sacrosanct and its provisions shall be the binding document for the conduct of the 2021 NBBF Elections”, the statement went further.
All these developments led to the Extra Ordinary Congress in Abuja on 9th October, 2021 which set up an Electoral and Appeals Committee and approved Benin as venue for the Elective Congress (by 24 Yes Votes against 2 No Votes), in strict compliance to the provisions of the 2019 NBBF statutes.
It is instructive to note that the Permanent Secretary who issued the Press Release postponing the Elective Congress indefinitely delivered the keynote address at the extraordinary congress which also had in attendance representative of the NOC and Director FEAD at the FMY&S, Dr S. Evbojaiye.
Kida said this leaves much to be desired after the ministry had acknowledged that only the NBBF Congress has the powers to act in line with the NBBF Statutes.
With all arrangements already put in place for the Elective Congress in Benin and FIBA already nominated a representative to monitor the Elective Congress, all delegates and aspirants should note that the NBBF’s Elective Congress as approved by the Extraordinary congress will hold as scheduled.
But almost immediately, the Secretary General of the NBBF Issued a circular to directors of sports, General Managers and state basketball associations to comply with the sports ministries directive on the immediate and indefinite postponement of the October 30th election
“I am directed to forward the Press Statement from the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to you on the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) Electoral Congress earlier scheduled to hold on 30″ October, 2021 in Edo State.
“Please find attached the Press Statement. Thank you. Yours faithfully,” the release read.
There is palpable fear within the basketball frabternity as the stakeholders continue to ruminate on the seemingly endless crisis rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF with no end foreseeable.