Nigeria Basket Ball Federation (NBBF) has chastised the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development over the constitution of the Interim Management Committee (IMC), to manage the nation’s basketball sports.
The NBBF in a press statement, denounced the move by the Sports Ministry, stating that the board which came into existence through a legitimately held congress in Benin on January 31, elected its representatives through certified delegates that freely exercised their franchise.
According to the NBBF, the move by the Sports Ministry is counterproductive and is not in tandem with the NBBF-approved statutes which the Sports Ministry, Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), and FIBA are custodians.
Furthermore, they stressed the constitution of IMC violates the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) statutes and a deliberate usurpation of power that ridicules the nation’s integrity among other basketball sport-loving nations.
The NBBF statement reads: “The attention of the NBBF has been drawn to the Press Statement from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development constituting an Interim Management Committee to run Basketball in Nigeria instead of the legally elected Board of the NBBF legitimately elected by its Congress on 31 January.
“The Elective Congress made up of the Certified Delegates of the NBBF held in Benin, Edo State elected its representatives in a free, fair, and transparent election with the firm approval of the Ministry.
“The NBBF, therefore, denounces the Interim Management Committee (IMC) set up by the Federal Ministry, as this action is not in line with the provisions of the NBBF-approved statutes, which the Ministry vetted, accepted and a copy domiciled with them.
“The idea of an IMC is alien to the NBBF Statutes as approved by the same Ministry of Youths & Sports Development, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), and the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA), under which the affairs of the Federation are governed.
“It further violates FIBA Statutes and Regulations and a deliberate usurpation of power that has made Nigeria a laughing stock amongst basketball-playing nations.
“The IMC is not acceptable to NBBF because we reserve the right, as a properly elected body, in line with the 2019 NBBF Constitution, domiciled with FIBA, NOC, and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to implement the mandate entrusted to us by the Basketball stakeholders in Nigeria.
“This move is counterproductive and an endless race within a circle that leads nowhere.
“It is a blatant abuse of power and an archaic move to repress the Constitution of the NBBF, as ratified by congress, which is the highest decision-making organ of the Federation, as represented by all the states and relevant constituencies in Nigeria.
“NBBF has exercised enough patience and attended several dialogues and peace talks for the sake of basketball. But it seems some persons within the Ministry are hell-bent on destroying what NBBF has built since the creation and admission of the NBBF as a member of FIBA.
“The latest move is not to save basketball, but a selfish agenda to cripple the sport for reasons best known to such persons.
“We, as a body, call on the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to reverse this retrogressive decision and respect their Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development Press release (attached below) of the 30 September 2021 affirming and spelling out the position of the Nigerian Government on the NBBF Electoral process.
“We urge all aggrieved stakeholders to channel their grievances through the NBBF for resolution, as the adequate mechanism for conflict resolution is inbuilt in 2019 approved NBBF constitution.
“We assure all Nigerians that we are committed to carrying on the processes of developing the game of Basketball. All genuine stakeholders willing to contribute their quota to the growth and development of the game of Basketball in Nigeria will also not be left out,” NBBF said.
The Sports Ministry had earlier opined to constitute an interim committee to oversee the sports following a factional crisis that has overwhelmed the basketball federation.