The board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) says it will not be drawn into fresh debates over who controls the domestic leagues and the national teams.
Engr. Musa Kida, the President of the Federation, made the declaration on Friday in Lagos against the backdrop of a recent media report, where the former board of the NBBF said that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) had given no clear directive on who controls the property of the NBBF.
Kida said it was just another attempt to protest the recent disclaimer over the purported attempt by the former board to hold Division 1 and 2 leagues.
The board said the latest declaration by Tijani Umar and his friends was just another attempt to create a fresh and unnecessary discussion over an imaginary crisis in Nigerian basketball.
The board maintained that going by the FIBA letter dated Dec. 13, 2017, addressed to Mr Jacob Ajom, a Nigerian journalist with Vanguard Newspaper, the apex body left nobody in doubt over who controls the national teams and the domestic leagues.
“The Year 2018 is a very busy year for basketball in Nigeria.
“There are so many activities lined up; we have the Division 1, 2 and Premier leagues (men and women) to organise.
“Players are already in camp for the Commonwealth Games preparation while we are finalising preparation for the 1st phase of the 2019 FIBA world cup qualifiers.
“Our women will also be participating in the World Cup later this year in Spain; we also have various training lined up for coaches, referees and other technical officials,” Kida said.
He explained that the board would focus, more than ever, to surpass the achievements recorded in 2017 which many have described as the best year of basketball in the last nine years.
The board admonished all stakeholders to shun hate speeches capable of destroying the fibre of the sport and scare away would-be investors for the sake of the players.
“If we say we all love basketball, why are we saying and doing things capable of destroying the sport we all profess to love.
“This is 2018. We all need to come together as one family to contribute our quota for the sake of these kids whose lives depend on what becomes of the sport.”
Tijani did two terms of eight years, nobody created a parallel federation not because people were not disgruntled with the process that brought him, “but for the sake of Nigeria and basketball, we allowed peace reign”.
From Yusuf Akinlotan, LAGOS SWAN