NBBF denounces sports ministry’s Interim Management Committee

Pius Ayinor

The Nigeria Basketball Federation has denounced in strong terms the decision of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports to set up an interim committee to management the affairs of the NBBF for the next two. The setting up of the committee on Monday follows the earlier decision of the sports ministry to self impose a ban on Nigeria from international competitions for two years.

The NBBF Board which was elected in January issued a strongly worded statement on Wednesday.

The statement reads: “The attention of the NBBF has been drawn to the Press Statement emanating from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, regarding the constitution of an Interim Management Committee, put in place to run Basketball in Nigeria instead of the legally elected Board of the NBBF, that was legitimately elected by its Congress, made up of the Certified  Delegates of the NBBF, at the January 31st Elective Congress, which held in Benin, Edo State, in a free, fair and transparent election with the firm approval of the Ministry.

“The Nigeria Basketball Federation, therefore, denounces the Interim Management Committee set up by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, as this action is not in line with the provisions of the NBBF approved statutes, which the Ministry vetted, accepted and a copy was domiciled with them.

“The idea of an Interim Management committee is alien to the NBBF Statutes as approved by the same Ministry of Youths & Sports Development, the NOC, and FIBA, under which the affairs of the Federation are governed. It further violates FIBA Statutes and Regulations and is indeed a deliberate usurpation of power that has made  Nigeria a laughing stock amongst the comity of 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 FMY&SD 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 to 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.

“The NBBF has attended all means of patience and dialogue, but some persons within the Ministry are hell-bent on destroying what Nigerian Basketball has built since the creation and admission of the NBBF, as a member of FIBA.

It is not a move 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 FMY&SD to reverse this retrogressive decision and respect their own FMYSD Press release of the 30th September 2021 clearly affirming and spelling out the position of the Nigerian Government on the NBBF Electoral process, and urge all aggrieved stakeholders to channel their grievances through the NBBF for resolution, as the adequate mechanism for conflict resolution is inbuilt in the 2019 approved NBBF constitution.

“We assure all Nigerians that we are committed to carrying on the processes of developing the game of Basketball in Nigeria, and also assure that we will carry along all genuine stakeholders of the game that are willing to contribute their quota to the growth and development of the game of Basketball in Nigeria.”