By Joe Apu
November 30th, 2017 is D-day for the world basketball ruling body, FIBA to decide the fate of who takes control of Nigeria basketball following the June 13 elections but the Musa Kida-led board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) has urged Nigerians not to harbour fears as the FIBA deadline comes to an end by 12: 00 midnight today.
FIBA had written the two factions led by Kida and Tijani Umar to find resolution to the election impasse before November 30 (today), but all efforts seem to have proved abortive as compromise has been reached.
While the Umar group appears to favour another round of election that would be supervised by the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), the Kida group is wondering why the Umar group stayed away from the election conducted into the board of the 32 Olympic sports federation in June by the same NOC. At a press parley yesterday at the National Stadium, Lagos, yesterday, Vice President of the NBBF, Babs Ogunade allayed Nigerians’ fears over any ban and stated that FIBA and the Kida-led board was committed to a resolution based on justice. Ogunade stated that their interest is the development of basketball based on proper welfare for players, who are the major actors in the game.
He stated that the Umar-led group had failed to show up at peace meetings, wondering why they are calling for a new election by the NOC they failed to participate in the last one.
Ogunade also questioned why Umar is calling for a new election, if he was so sure about the one he conducted in Kano.
FIBA Africa Zone Three President and Chairman of the Benue State Basketball Association, Col Sam Ahmedu called on Nigerians not to be afraid of any ban as FIBA was investigating the purported government interference in the elections.
Ahmedu, who is the international representative on the board said the guideline used for the elections was signed by every sport federation, assuring that FIBA will not ban Nigeria.