World basketball ruling body, FIBA and the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC are at daggers drawn over election into the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.
While FIBA in a letter dated 10th November, 2021 has given Nigeria until November 30 to conclude the election into the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation or face sanctions, the NOC insists in a response dated 11 November, 2021 and signed by Banji Oladapo, its Secretary General and addressed to FIBA’s President and Secretary General, the NOC acknowledged there is indeed crisis and that a resolution of the crisis must be reached before elections are conducted.
FIBA’s warning was given via a letter dated November 10, 2021 and emailed to the NBBF President Musa Kida. The letter was signed jointly by the FIBA President Hamane Niang and the Secretary General Andreas Zagklis.
The FIBA officials said that their warning was based on the series of letters the Nigerian sports ministry had written to the Switzerland-based body intimating it of first, the forced postponement of the election originally scheduled for October 30 in Benin City with a letter on the 26th of October; another letter on November 5 announcing the takeover of the responsibilities of the NBBF and yet another letter on November 9 announcing that the sports ministry would organize the country’s flagship Premier League play offs.
FIBA reminded Nigeria that these actions were gross violations of the independence and integrity of the NBBF as no other body is allowed to run the programmes of the federation directly.FIBA then announced it would not recognise any event organized by sports ministry
“As you are aware under Article 9.7 of the FIBA’s General Statutes, National Member Federations (NMF) must manage their affairs independently without the influence of third parties and ensures that their officials are elected or appointed under a democratic process. Also, Article 9.1.a. requires NMFs to maintain full control and governance of basketball in their country, including without limitation, control over their national competitions.”
The international body then warned the sports ministry of the urgency required to put the NBBF Board properly back in control and in office.
“Please be advised that FIBA would not recognize any competition or results that stems from an event not controlled by the NBBF. Furthermore, as per our letter of 2 November, 2021 to the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, FIBA expects that the NBBF celebrates its Electoral Congress no later than 30 November 2021.”
The FIBA letter concludes, “The current situation will be brought to the attention of the FIBA’s Central Board in its next meeting on 18th November 2021 to determine any other course of action as per FIBA’s General Statutes and Internal Regulations.”
The NOC acknowledged there is indeed crisis in the NBBF. “It is quite obvious that right now, the Nigerian Basketball family appears to be divided, with various stakeholder groups having their own opinion, especially with regards to the election of new leadership for the federation,’ wrote the NOC and wants FIBA to send a delegation to Nigeria to interact with stakeholders with a view to resolving the crisis.
“The Nigeria Olympic Committee is recommending for FIBA to send a delegation to visit Nigeria and interact with the relevant stakeholders of Nigeria Basketball Federation,’ advised the NOC.”