The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, on Thursday in Lagos said there was no fraction in the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
Mr. Dalung told newsmen that he did not play any role in the emergency of Musa Kida as the President of NBBF.
“I did not play any role in the election into the board of NBBF.
“All I did was to provide the enabling environment to ensure that election into the board takes place, just like the other sports federation.
“Tijani Umar was just trying to cast aspersions on my person to cover up for his lack of maturity.
“Umar did not have any evidence of his participation in the election of NBBF organised by the Nigeria Olympic Committee.
“What he did in Kano was just a mere gathering of few people to cause confusion.
“For him and his cohort to lay the blame of his failure to continue to lead NBBF on me and NOC, is unfair and unacceptable to me.
“Umar should be more matured; he had been a leader of the federation for eight years.
“He should not allow his personal interest to override the development of the game he cherished and work for its growth over a decade,’’ Mr. Dalung said.
The minister said that the claim of government interference by Mr. Umar was a laughable one.
“He keeps saying government’s intervention when it suits him.
“It was the same government’s interference and instruments that he used to shut out some stakeholders during the AGM that he is claiming fashion out the constitution used to conduct his election in Kano.
“He did not act as a politician; if he had purchased form to contest the election organised by NOC, he would have a ground to contest the outcome of the election, if he was not satisfied.
“I would have ordered for a fresh election to settle the misunderstanding if Umar was part of the process, but he held his own election organised by him; so how do you claim fraction in this situation.
“The money of the federation is with him since he left office as the president of NBBF; we know what to do to collect the money if there is government’s interference.
“But, we want the whole issue to be resolved amicably for the love of the game and development of sports in Nigeria.
“FIBA said they are coming in February on a fact-finding mission and to find a way of resolving the crisis; on our part, we are waiting for that,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FIBA-Africa first gave the NOC November 30, 2017 to find an amicable resolution of the leadership crisis in NBBF.
Upon the expiration of the deadline without any resolution, the basketball apex ruling body further handed another extension to the Kida-led group in a letter dated Dec. 12, 2017.
FIBA, at a meeting of its central board, decided the new extension date for resolution of the crisis in NBBF in the interest of the game in Nigeria.
In view of that, FIBA-Africa Secretary General, Alphonse Bile, will be on fact-finding mission visit to Nigeria on February 28.