Major stakeholders of Nigeria’s basketball in Nigeria under the auspices of Nigeria Basketball Vanguard (NBV) have said they will not participate in any election for the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF until a Constitution is ratified by the Congress of the Sport.
They were reacting Tuesday’s circular put out by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development announcing that Sports Federation elections into six (6) federations including the NBBF, which “already have their Constitution ratified by their International Sports bodies and the Nigeria Olympic Committee will conduct their election based on their Constitution”.
The Stakeholders who met in Abuja insisted that they are not aware of any Constitution ratified by the Congress and approved by both the NOC and the Sport’s World Governing body, FIBA.
President of one of the technical arms of the sport, Pastor Skambo Morrison, said: “As far as we know, there is no Constitution approved by FIBA or the NOC for the NBBF.
“The Constitution the Ministry is talking about was neither ratified by FIBA nor approved by the Congress as the FIBA Status stipulates.”
He stressed that until all the stakeholders are involved in the process and the Congress of the NBBF approves it, they will not participate in any election being planned for the NBBF.
Also speaking at the meeting, Vice Chairman of the Niger State Basketball Association, Mr. Gimba Garba, stressed that a so-called Constitution which aims to exclude some individuals cannot be a fair document on which an election can be conducted. “We cannot be part of any process which does not allow a level playing field. Until a true Constitution is ratified and approved by the Congress of basketball, the election should be suspended”, he argued.
Chairman of the FCT Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Bunmi Haruna said they were surprised that a process put in place by FIBA in 2017 for a true resolution of the crisis in the NBBF was stopped half way.
“We are surprised that the Sports Ministry is talking about a Constitution for the NBBF when the process of having one acceptable to all parties involved in the dispute was not concluded by FIBA”, he said, stressing that “anything short of having a New Constitution approved by the Congress will not augur well for the sport as the crisis might be re-ignited”.
Present at the meeting also were Scott Nnaji, President of the Basketball Coaches Association, Tunde Popoola, President of the Basketball Referees’ Council, Lawal Garba, former National Team player and Director of Sports, Bauchi State, a representative of Gombe Bulls Basketball Club, Alhaji Ibrahim Gimba, Ayinla Johnson, former National Team Coach and player and Stanley Gumut, Player’s Representative. Others present include Tijjani Umar, Ambassador Mustapha Sulaiman, Dr. Livinus Miapkwap, Chairman, Plateau State Basketball Association, Francis Gbiri, Chairman, Ondo State Basketball Association, Mrs. Margaret Porbeni, Mr. Gbade Olatona, Mr. Ajibarede Bello, a Technical Commissioner, Mr. Ahmed Sani, Coach, Kano Pillars Basketball Club and Mr. Kunle Raji, Sports Marketing Executive.