Barely less than 24 hours after given both parties in the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) lingering crisis 21 days to point out the contending issues in the constitution for amendment and amicable resolution of the crisis before the elections, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has backtracked, saying it will abide by the purported NBBF Constitution not acceptable to the stakeholders.
The minister of youth and sports development, Mr Sunday Dare and president of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Habu Gumel, had on Wednesday’s night at a meeting with the two factions, held at the minister conference office at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, urged the both parties to go back and look at the constitution and points whatever areas they don’t agree with for amicable resolution.
However, the Ministry in a statement signed by Dr Simon Ebhojiaye, acting director of Federations and Elite Athletes Department (FEAD) and released a few hours after the meeting, said the NBBF has a Constitution recognised by FIBA and it will abide by it.
It said the Constitution will form the basis of the next elections and the resolution of any conflict that may emanate from it.
The NBBF has a Constitution recognized by FIBA and this was confirmed again in a recent correspondence with the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) from FIBA. The Ministry recognizes this and abides with it. This Constitution will form the basis of the next elections and the resolution of any conflict that may emanate from it.
“The FIBA approved Constitution clearly spells out the processes leading to an Elective Congress. This must be clearly followed through as expected by FIBA.
The Constitution cannot be amended by non-congress members,” Ministry said.
Reacting to the position taken by the Sports Ministry, chairman of the Kaduna State Basketball Pastor Skambo Morrison, said the stand taken by the ministry will shut out many genuine basketball stakeholders from contesting the elections into the board of the NBBF and described it as disgraceful to the country.
“It is disgraceful that the Ministry will take such a stand after the resolution taken at the meeting and that both parties should go back and look at the constitution and whatever areas they don’t agree with we should compile them and submit to them on Monday. We had the meeting Wednesday’s night with the minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare, and the NOC President, Habu Gumel and a few hours later, the Ministry would come out with such a disgraceful statement, it was unfortunate.
“This will shut out many real stakeholders of basketball from the elections into the board of the NBBF. Our interest is for the good of basketball and the young people who play the game,” Skambo decried.