The Nigeria Basketball Federation has reacted to a letter purportedly written by the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA), acknowledging Musa Kida as its President.
The NBBF, in a statement by its representative, Stanely Gumut, rejected the contents of the letter blaming it on ‘desperate’ individuals “who are attempting to bully and arm-twist the Sports Ministry to do their bidding.”
According to the statement, FIBA in 2017 had announced that its correspondence to the NBBF would only be through the official email address of the body: [email protected] as he queried why the new letter was addressed to Kida’s personal email.
It further alleged that the International body had been part of the crisis bedevilling the NBBF since 2017, and supporting individuals who had escalated the leadership crisis in the body.
NBBF further stated that the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development was the only recognised custodian of sports in Nigeria.
The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to a letter, purportedly written by the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA), acknowledging one Engr. Musa Kida as President, of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), at a said election that took place in Benin, Edo State, on January 31.
“The said letter dated March 7th, 2022; also listed and congratulated some associates of Engr. Kida as duly elected officers of the NBBF.
“Having perused this phantom letter, as critical stakeholders of Nigerian Basketball, laid it side by side with the undiluted facts of the NBBF elections of January 31st, 2022 which happened in Abuja, it has become pertinent and imperative to clear the air regarding the antics of some selfish desperate individuals who are hell-bent on trading Nigeria for their personal gains; by attempting to bully and arm-twist the Sports Ministry to do their bidding.
“These selfish schemers were betrayed by their desperation, to the extent that they forgot that FIBA in 2017 made it crystal clear in correspondence to the NBBF that its only means of communication with the federation is [email protected]
“That agreed, how and why did FIBA address the purported letter to Kida’s personal email?
“To set the records straight, FIBA has been part of the crisis bedeviling the NBBF since 2017, by supporting these individuals who have over years escalated the leadership crisis using FIBA and its agents to hold the sovereign state of Nigeria hostage, an action which Nigerian Basketball Players detest, and see as a slap on the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the only recognised custodian of sports in Nigeria. In the discharge of its statutory duties, it started the process of reconstituting boards of sports federations, under its watch, and that included the NBBF.
“The process, which began officially in September 2021, was driven by the guidelines released by the Sports Ministry, and it resulted in my emergence as the Players’ Representative. Other officers were likewise elected into the NBBF Board via this same process.
“The Ministry thereafter issued a directive, through the federation in a letter referenced NBBF/CESG.83/2022/Vol.1/127, and dated January 17, 2022 with: Notification of Nigeria Basketball Federation Elective Congress, as the subject.
“This gave credence to the elections held on January 31st, in Abuja. Until that fateful date and even now, there’s being no counter directive, regarding the date and venue of the NBBF elections.
“Aside this election, other steps taken by these individuals to ridicule Nigeria as nation and government should not be taken lightly by the Nigerian authority, as these embarrassments are now a reoccurring decimal.
“The decision by FIBA Africa to bar Nigeria’s representative, Rivers Hoopers from participating in the second edition of the Basketball Africa League, was instigated by these folks; and the indiscretion that apparently provoked the protest by the D’Tigress over non-payment of their allowances are few examples.
“As categorically stated by the Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare, no constitution or individual is bigger than Nigeria; on this declaration, we stand.”