*Weightlifter Maryam Usman gets her Olympic bronze medal
Presidents of the newly inaugurated National Sports Federations were presented with certificates of office by the Honorable Minister of Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung and the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Engineer Habu Gumel, at the inaugural meeting of the new presidents under the auspices of the NOC.
The ceremony and meeting took place at the Media Centre of the Abuja National stadium immediately after the official decoration of four-time African weightlifting champion and Commonwealth gold medallist, Mariam Usman, with her 2008 Olympic bronze medal.
The certificate presentation took place before the first official meeting with the NOC where most of the new Presidents of the National Federations including Engineer Musa Kida of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) were in attendance.
In his remark, Engineer Kida said the event was a significant one as it has clearly laid to rest who the authentic presidents of these federations are.
“In recent weeks, journalists have been asking for my reaction over some publications being put in the public space referring to the former President of the NBBF as the factional president. We have always maintained that there is no faction in basketball administration in Nigeria.
Neither the Nigeria Olympic Committee nor the recent letter of the Federation of International Basketball Association (FIBA) provides the space for the office of a factional president of NBBF.”
An elated Kida said the NOC meeting has confirmed their mandate and other board members of NSFs who were elected to lead the affairs of these federations for the next four years.
“Now that the elections are over, we are already settling down to the real business of repositioning basketball in Nigeria. We are ready to work with all stakeholders for the development of the game we all love.
“The recent success of our women’s team at the 2017 FIBA Afrobasket tournament in Mali and the quiet way we have gone about preparing their male counterparts for their Afrobasket title defence is an indication of our resolve to improve the game with the help of all stakeholders.”
Speaking during the ceremony, Engineer Gumel felicitated with the presidents for their success at the polls and how they have conducted their affairs weeks after they assumed office. He made special recognition of the boards of wrestling, basketball and football for their recent successes at the African and world levels.
He charged them to use their four years in office to develop their various sports with special focus on the grassroots and prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.