Nigeria Basketball Crisis: World body FIBA calls for fresh elections

Federation of International Basketball Associations [Photo Credit: Wikipedia]

A truce is set to be reached in the ‘crisis’ rocking the administration of basketball in Nigeria.

The Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) has called for a fresh election into the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) at a date yet to be announced.

Crisis in the NBBF began last year when two factional leaders, Musa Kida and Tijani Umar, emerged as president from two separate elections.

Kida emerged as president of the NBBF in the general elections into all sports federations organised by the Ministry of Sports.

Umar, on his part, emerged president of the NBBF for a third term from an election held based on the reversed constitution of the federation in Kano, a day prior to the general election held in Abuja.

According to a letter signed by FIBA’s Secretary General, Patrick Bauman, and addressed to the NBBF secretary, Chimezie Asiegbu, Musa Kida, Tijani Umar and the Nigeria Olympic Committee, FIBA noted that both elections in Kano and Abuja respectively failed to meet the general statutes of the global body.

The letter stated that the election held in Kano on the 12th of June, 2017 which ushered Umar as President did not comply with the article 9.3 of the FIBA statutes.

While the election in Abuja that saw Kida take over the reins failed to adhere to article 9.7 of the FIBA statutes.

“The statutes and regulation of national members must comply with the General statutes and Internal Regulations of FIBA,” the letter from FIBA noted.

“The General Statutes and internal Regulations of FIBA shall form part of the national member federations’ statutes and regulations. In the event of doubt or conflict the General Statutes and Internal Regulation of FIBA will prevail.”

While Article 9.7 of the FIBA statutes states that: “National members of the federation shall manage their affairs independently and with no influence from third parties. In particular they must ensure that their officials are either elected or appointed under a democratic process for a term of office for four (4) years. Their statutes must provide a transparent procedure that guarantees the complete independence of election or appointment.”

FIBA through the letter to the warring parties also stated that a new date for election will be announced. But until then, they will be communicating with the Kida-led board.

“FIBA will determine when the NBBF statutes are compliant per the above and reserves the right to oversee parts or the entirety of the elections process,” the letter continued.

“Communication still to be maintained with Musa Kida, Babatunde Ogunade and Chimezie Asiegbu until such time as the new elections are held as per our letter of 26 July, 2017.”

Meanwhile, Kida has maintained that the NBBF will cooperate with FIBA to come up with acceptable statutes for basketball administration in Nigeria in line with FIBA’s provision.

“Going by the letter received this morning, FIBA was silent about the date for a new election as they unequivocally stated that they will maintain communications with the Musa Kida led board. We as a responsible organisation with a passion for basketball development in Nigeria will work closely with FIBA during this critical phase, forging a way forward for basketball in Nigeria.”

“We call on all relevant stakeholders to come forward with positive contributions to help the game grow in Nigeria”, Kida added.

Also, a statement from the Umar camp indicated that they are favourably disposed to the planned fresh election but added that they will continue with their ongoing programmes..

“Since FIBA has not recognised either of the elections held last June and pending the fresh election, we shall continue with our home leagues and other local activities including concluding the National Divisions 1 and 2 championships currently going on in Ilorin, Kwara State;

“We commend FIBA for accepting to oversee parts or the entirety of the new election process as it would forestall interference by any third party and ensure the independence of the NBBF as enshrined in the FIBA Statutes;” the faction stated.

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