*Musa Kida led NBBF Board is the authentic
From Ayodele Bakare
Invariably and without fail, I receive a new set of questions every single day, seeking clarification on various aspects of the recently concluded NBBF elections. Some of these inquiries are genuine requests for information, while some are mischievous attempts to ‘muddy the waters’, and create doubt, confusion, or controversy, where none exists. Regardless, I have resolved to treat all as genuine requests for information and have decided to come up with a list of answers to 20 of the most frequently asked questions about the NBBF elections.
Please note that every information related to these questions are already in the public space and have been the subject of extensive discussions over the past several days. Practically all the stakeholders and observers of these elections have regaled us with the essential details.
The Minister has spoken, the Ministry has spoken, the NOC has spoken, the observers of the elections have spoken, yet it would seem that a few of us may still have questions. So, I will again summarise or recap the facts. Here goes:
1) Q – Who organised and supervised the 2017 National Sports Federations elections?
A – The elections were organised and supervised by the Ministry of Sports and the NOC. Incidentally, this has always been the usual practice, with the former Board of the NBBF having enjoyed two terms amounting to eight years, as beneficiaries of this same system.
2) Q – Were the elections guided by any set of rules or conditions?
A – The elections were governed by a set of Election Guidelines which were made public well in advance.
3) Q- Were the candidates for election required to meet any specific requirements?
A – The terms of eligibility for candidates involved certain documentation which had a specific time deadline.
4) Q – Was there a specific date or place scheduled for the elections, according to the guidelines?
A – The elections were scheduled to be held in Abuja on the 13th of June 2017.
5) Q – Did the candidates for the NBBF Abuja elections comply with the election guidelines and schedule?
A – The participants at the Abuja elections complied with all the conditions enumerated in items 2, 3, and 4 above.
6) Q – Did the participants at the Kano NBBF elections similarly comply with the election guidelines?
A – The participants at the Kano elections did not comply with items 2, 3, and 4 above, preferring instead to organize and hold their separate elections on a different date (12th June) and in a different city and state (Kano), contrary to the Election Guidelines.
7) Q – Did the Ministry and the NOC attend and supervise both the Abuja and Kano elections?
A – As a natural consequence of the compliance or non-compliance of each election, Ministry and NOC officials could only be present at the elections which they were aware of, and which complied with all the agreed terms contained in the Election Guidelines. Thus, the Ministry and NOC were present at, and supervised the Abuja elections, but not the Kano elections.
8) Q – When and where did the Abuja elections take place?
A – The Abuja elections took place in Abuja, on the 13th of June 2017, at a venue which was mutually agreed and approved by the delegates, the participants, the Ministry and the NOC, as being convenient and suitable in the interest of the safety and well being of the participants. The Ministry and the NOC endorsed it and supervised the Abuja elections.
9) Q – What has been the position of the Ministry and the NOC about the Abuja elections?
A – The position of the Ministry and the NOC has been clear and non-ambivalent on the Abuja elections; that it was duly conducted and ratified.
10) Q – Has the Honourable Minister himself taken any position to clarify the seeming confusion about the two NBBF elections?
A – The position of the Honourable Minister has also been similarly very clear. He has consistently expressed the fact that the Abuja elections are authentic, and the Kano elections are not recognised. There are multiple media statements from him to this effect.
11) Q – Can the candidates who emerged from the Abuja elections be challenged through the appeals Committee?
A – The validity of the individual candidates elected at the Abuja election is of course subject to the outcome of the review of any protests by the Appeals Committee. However, such protests can only emanate from participants at the Abuja election, and not from the Kano election.
12) Q – So, who is in charge of the NBBF now? Who is running the show?
A – At the moment, the NBBF is administered by the Secretary General, until the new Board is inaugurated on the 13th of July 2017. Any person or persons claiming to be operating as the NBBF Board prior to that date and that inauguration ceremony, do so illegally, and at their own peril as they may well find out later.
13) Q – Do we have a stalemate that we need to resolve in this NBBF elections? Are there two NBBF Boards?
A – There is no stalemate in the 2017 NBBF elections. There is only one recognized NBBF Board, and Musa Kida is its President.
14) Q – What does the Ministry and the NOC say about the legality of the Abuja elections, and the NBBF Board which was elected from it?
A – There is no ambiguity in the reaction of the Minister, the Ministry, or the NOC. Their position as publicly stated and supported by their conduct and ratification of the results, is that the Abuja elections are sacrosanct.
15) Q – When can we expect to hear a definitive public statement confirming the final results of all the Federation elections, especially for basketball?
A – The results for all the NSF elections will be made official and announced to the public by this week Thursday or Friday, after the Appeals Committee decisions.
16) What follows next after the results are confirmed by the Appeals committee?
A – Thereafter, each individual Federation Board (including the NBBF), will be inaugurated on the 13th July 2917.
17) Q – Is the door foreclosed to an amicable resolution between the Tijjani Umar led faction and the current Musa Kida led NBBF Board?
A – There does exist some chance of an amicable settlement between the former Tijjani Umar led NBBF Board and the new Musa Kida led Board. However, such an amicable resolution would have to be premised on sincerity and honesty about which election (Kano or Abuja) is legitimate. Sadly, such honesty seems to be in very short supply at the moment. Quite frankly, a ‘showdown’ or ‘confrontation’ seems inevitable.
18) Q – Will such a ‘showdown’ negatively impact Nigerian basketball?
A – Not significantly, and not in the long run. The showdown will be brief, and will only be sustained till FIBA officially signifies (by correspondence or action), that they will continue to deal with Nigeria through the new duly elected NBBF Board.
19) Q – Why are the domestic NBBF Programs such as Kwese Premier League, Zenith League, The All Star weekend, all still running without interruption?
A – Because the new Board is committed to not allowing the game and the players miss a beat, or suffer any disruption due to these elections. Of course, the former Board attempts to capitalize on this by trying to project that they are still in charge, and we must praise the maturity of the new Board for refusing to respond to their provocation in this regard.
20) Q – Is there any written communication from FIBA supporting the Kano elections or the Tijani Umar led Board?
A – None whatsoever, to the best of everyone’s knowledge. Brandishing a purported letter from FIBA (without allowing anyone to read it) is unfortunately an oft used tactic by the former NBBF Board, when they struggle to establish credibility for a flawed or failed position. Please recall how they claimed that FIBA had banned many of our referees, players, and administrators over the ABL league. Till today, they have not been able to provide the documentation from FIBA for that purported ban.
I believe the preceding answers many questions and puts to rest any doubts about the authenticity of the Abuja elections or the legitimacy of the Musa Kida led NBBF Board.
Ayodele Bakare wrote this piece from Lagos. He was a former national coach of the sport.