By Olawale Ayeni @vjwale
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has promised immediate resolution of the two- year old leadership crisis rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
The minister gave the assurance yesterday during a meeting with Musa Kida-led faction of the NBBF in his office, Abuja.
The meeting is part of the ongoing drive by the minister to get all federations on the same page ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.
“I want to commend the NBBF for their achievements within the last two years, it shows that basketball is improving massively in the country. However, I have seen news about the leadership tussle in the federation, but I am waiting to be briefed about it before we take the next line of action”.
The Nigeria’s basketball has not known peace since the controversial elections in Kano and Abuja that produced Tijjani Umar and Musa Kida respectively as contending presidents. Since then, both men have laid claims to the position even as the world basketball body, FIBA out-rightly rejected the results of the two elections and called for fresh elections which are yet to hold two years after.
FIBA in a letter to Kida, Umar and the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), noted that both elections in Kano and Abuja failed to meet the general statutes of the global body. The letter stated that the election held in Kano June 12, 2017, which ushered Umar as President, did not comply with the article 9.3 of the FIBA statutes as the election in Abuja that saw Kida take over the reins failed to adhere to article 9.7 of the FIBA statutes.
The minister however called for concerted efforts in the development of basketball at the grassroots. “I will task the federation to improve the sport at the grassroots level so as to grow the next generation stars. At the ministry level, the government has resolved to bring back the Principal Cup in the secondary schools which will also aid to develop the sport at the grassroots, because talents had been discovered from the Principal Cup in the past.”
“Also, we want sports federations not to rely solely on the ministry for funding. They should seek partnership deals with private and corporate organizations.”
Dare further reaffirmed the government’s commitment to support the D’Tigers and D’Tigress, in their quest to do the nation proud in subsequent international competitions particularly in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.
Earlier, factional president of NBBF, Engr. Musa Kida, briefed the sports minister on the activities of the federation.