*Entrenched schisms, schemes for next April Federation elections
*Subtle protest against Dalung on choice of Secretary
We saw and reported a skewed and controversial 2017 Annual General Meeting of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) that took place at the Nigeria Air Force International Conference Centre in Kado-Abuja. We were proved very right.
Invitations were selectively sent out to only friends of the NBBF Executive members effectively blocking out certain “unwanted persons.”
There was face-off at the event. Members from Lagos and Ebonyi states as well as Nigeria’s representative on the International body, (FIBA Africa) were not allowed access into the venue of the conference.
Good enough, top goons in the sports industry were duly invited. They witnessed the show of shame by the Czars of the game. The list of the guests included, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Sports, Hon. Goni Bukar Lawan, the Ministry of Sports’ Director of Federation of Elite Athletes Department Mrs. Hauwa Kulu-Akinyemi, and President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engineer Habu Gumel.
FIBA Africa banned those we stopped from the conference: President of FIBA Africa Zone 3, Colonel Samuel Ahmedu (Retired) and the Chairman of the Lagos state Basketball Association, Babs Ogunade, were barred from gaining access into the venue of the AGM.
Reacting later, President of the NBBF, Tijani Umar, said the ban came from FIBA Africa for their participation at the African Basketball League (ABL).
Oyedeji makes hollow Umar’s reason: Board member and players’ representatives, Olumide Oyedeji debunked Umar’s reason saying that the players who participated in the ABL were not expressly banned by FIBA but were deemed not to have played for one calendar year due to the ongoing issue with FIBA Africa.
Since FIBA Africa could not stop the players and officials from carrying out their “rights to freedom of association”, they had to be exempted from all FIBA organised and sanctioned competitions.
Oyedeji said their efforts were not just recognised because of their participation in an unrecognised league by FIBA Africa. So, when some players wanted to join clubs like Kano Pillars and Customs at the Zonal and Regional competitions, it was impossible.
He explained that it was not because of FIBA Africa’s ban on individual players who took part in ABL, but because of the issues with clearance and international transfer certificates.
Olumide explained that since the management of ABL had no authority to accredit and transfer players, it was impossible for the players to play at the African club championship at a time that the federation was not going to help due to the faceoff with the management of the ABL.
According to him, after much considerations and apologies, the board have decided to forgive the players and allow them participate in the 2017 league season.
Was the FIBA Constitution followed?: According to the constitution of FIBA zone 3 which Nigeria is a signatory to, the president of the zone is legally allowed in the AGM of any member association of the region.
Where he is not physically present, he/she is allowed to send a representative. For NBBF to lock out a zonal president is not just an abuse of office but a slap on FIBA Africa Zone 3 which is a branch of FIBA world in the region. This is politics of the re-election.
Babs Ogunade or Lagos. Which did Umar’s FIBA banned? If what President Tijanni Umar claimed was right, then, one urgent question that requires answer is, which of the two were banned, the person of the chairman of Lagos state basketball association or the Association?
Otherwise, if Babs Ogunade was the one banned, then, it is an abuse of his rights and can end up as a legal issue. If it was the Association that was banned, then, Board member, Gbade Olatona, should have been excluded and refused access into the venue. He was allowed in. Meaning, those that were stopped was probably beyond the reason so given.
Unconfirmed sources had told www.gongnews.net that the politricks of third term informed the skewed invitation of those invited to the AGM. A new Constitution is being schemed for the NBBF to ensure that Tijani Umar perpetuates himself in office. That is why his guest list were made to look like an endorsement ceremony for next April’s election into the Boards of Sports Federations.
The ceremony was declared open by Mrs. Hauwa Kulu-Akinyemi who represented the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung.
- Where was the Constitution of the NBBF before now?
- Did the Associations representing the states had a prior access before the so-called AGM? Voice vote was used to pass the Constitution whose provisions certainly will lead to another round of legal tantrums. Handball and basketball had court cases on the last election.
- When last was an AGM held? Who attended? Where and when? This pre-supposes that the next election in April informed the decision to so host. This ordinarily leaves the suspicion that the election may afterall not be free and fair.
Exclusion of NBBF Board members: Authoritative sources revealed to www.gongnews.net that the Umar Tijanni Board is divided from within or how else
some board members of the NBBF from the South South zone (Musa Ah Kida), South East (Osita Nwachukwu) and South West zone (Babs Ogunade) were not incuded nor named as NBBF board members in the brochure?
Against Solomon Dalung: As a sign of rebellion against the decision of the Youth and Sports Minister who many of the senior members of the ministry were also not comfortable with, the NBBF decided to work with their ‘friends’ to subtly protest the posting of new federation secretaries.
The picture of former Secretary of the Federation, Patrick Okeke, remains the choice of “we, the core ministry” while no word was made about the announcement of a new secretary still found its way into the brochure despite the recent announcement by the Ministry of Sports reshuffling federation secretaries.