The factional president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Mr. Igoche Mark, has said FIBA, the world basketball governing body is being misled on the crises that has again enveloped the sport in Nigeria.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, the proprietor of Mark Mentors basketball club said some self-serving stakeholders with links in the international organisation are bent on destroying Nigerian basketball.
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He said some of the letters said to have been written by FIBA purportedly endorsing the Benin elections which produced Engineer Musa Kida as NBBF president were questionable and can’t be accepted by discerning minds.
Igoche said he remains the authentic president of the NBBF because the January 31, 2022 Abuja election that produced his board was conducted in line with the guidelines provided by the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development.
“FIBA is blindfolded as it concerns Nigerian basketball. Those with links in FIBA are using such connections to their advantage not in the interest of Nigerian basketball.
“Unfortunately, even if you give them the next 10 years, nothing is going to change. They have reached their limit in terms of ideas and value. I don’t know what they have left to offer to the game.
“Nigerian basketball is for givers not takers. It is a call for service not personal interest as we have seen so far. I am doing all these out of my love and passion for the game,” he said.
Igoche maintained that his duly elected board is not ready to be distracted by the antics of some ‘old men’ who have overstayed their welcome.
He said his board is instead focused on delivering on its mandate which he said is development of Nigerian basketball from the grassroots to the national level.
The founder and sponsor of the Mark D Ball championship, therefore, called on the ministry of sports to be steadfast and honest in resolving the crisis in Nigerian basketball.
“When the ministry of sports said they are looking into the two elections and would get back to us soon, we believed them. I believe they will do the right thing.
“There is so much rumour from people who are trying hard to distract us from what we are doing for the game. We had our board meeting a few days ago and resolved not to be distracted.
“I have assured the players that they will play. We shall create more opportunities for them to play regularly. The local league will soon return.
“We are discussing with individuals, corporate organisations and multinationals that still believe in Nigerian basketball to identify with us,” said Igoche.