By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Engineer Musa Kida-led faction of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) said the claim that it frustrated Kwese out of the sponsorship of the men’s premier basketball league is not true.
He stated this while refuting a statement by a member of the Kwese league management board, Ajibarede Bello, that it drove away $12.5m league sponsors.
The faction in a statement released yesterday said the claim is not true and attempted to rewrite history, saying the Kwese’s withdrawal from Nigeria in 2019 was purely for business.
The group advised Ajibarede to stick to the truth in the interest of the game instead of muddle up issues which have continued to negatively affect the men’s basketball league in the country.
Ajibarede had advised the Musa Kida-led NBBF faction to tell Nigerians the truth on how they shortchanged Gombe Bulls and Kwara Falcons in the FIBA zone 3 club qualifiers – leading to halting the league and drove away the league sponsors (KWESE).
Tijjani Umar-led NBBF had before the Federation’s Elections in 2017 secured a five-year sponsorship deal worth $12.5m ($2.5m per annum) with Kwese.
The world basketball governing body (FIBA) rejected the two elections held in Kano and Abuja that produced Musa Kida and Tijani Umar as challenging presidents respectively.
Though, FIBA maintained that it would communicate with the Kida faction and was mandated to handle the national team assignments, while the Umar faction was asked to continue with their domestic league structure until the issues are resolved.
Kida, however, insisted that Umar board has no reason to hold on to any of the sponsorship deal entered into on behalf of the NBBF, saying it is sheer greed and not for the love and good of the game.