Nigerian Basketball Federation Crisis – One Election, Two Faulty Constitutions

Nigerian Basketball Federation Crisis – One Election, Two Faulty Constitutions

 204 total views,  3 views today

This is very technical stuff that does not make interesting reading. Yet, it speaks to the heart of the current crisis in the Nigerian Basketball Federation; is also an early warning signal of a similar impending crisis in the Nigeria Football Federation; and a reminder of how the Athletics Federation barely survived its own crisis, albeit temporarily, through the intervention of fate and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

Indeed, in many countries around the world, particularly Third World and Socialist countries, governments cannot be separated from sports. The International bodies know this fact and also know how to accommodate these cultural and political peculiarities in relating to the associations. 

For national associations in Nigeria, the singular problem then was that the sports ministry often used their exalted position to install whoever they wanted as Chairperson of associations, and publicly claimed it was a directive from the Presidency.

A former director in the sports ministry became a master at that game…….using his position to inject all manner of articles into constitutions of associations in a classic case of ‘wuru wuru to the answer’. 

The only way to halt that trend was to tamper with the constitutions of associations and introduce new methods for electing Chairmen for the association. That meant an inevitable clash with the sports ministry. 

So, the battle line was drawn in the sand.

…….the result is the unending protests and crisis before, during and after association board elections since then………with the campaign to shut out government’s involvement in Nigerian sports.

Unfortunately, that meant ………associations wanting to eat their cake and still have it. They cannot take government funds and debar government from having a say in their activities.  

I read ………the two constitutions of the Nigeria Basketball Federation that is at the heart of the crisis in the association presently…….the 2017 and 2019 constitutions of the NBBF are both faulty in their narrow intentions…….They should be set aside and a new document put together by a neutral body of knowledgeable and experienced persons, with a level playing field for all interested for fresh closely-monitored elections. 

The Sports Ministry….. must step out with courage and determination, and carefully and wisely navigate through the several minefields.

A few tips will help here:

…….The membership of the board shall elect its Chairman…..elections should not be moved to State capitals…tenure of boards.shall be limited to a single term….and so on and so forth, efforts that will make the whole electoral process simple, inexpensive, easy to manage, less prone to manipulation and devoid of external influence and corruption…. no Ghana-Must-Go bags full of illicit money, no clandestine, nocturnal meetings in hotel rooms, and no public campaigns with posters and hired lobbyists.    

Every association is independent, but ‘independence’ does not mean the absence of government. Government is the biggest Stakeholder in Nigerian sports and it cannot be willed or wished away from its administration. 

Segun Odegbami

About Best Choice Sports

Leave a Reply

Translate »