The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has asked stakeholders of basketball in Nigerian to ensure a hitch-free election of board members of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.
At a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, the Zone C coordinator on NANS, Abah Owoicho, said all parties should sheath their sword for the sake of basketball.
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He said the provisions in the constitution of the NBBF should be adhered to by all parties since it was approved by the world governing body of basketball, FIBA, and ratified by the NBBF congress.
“That in compliance with the posture of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, the constitution of NBBF be adhered to and the Federal Ministry of Sports plays its observatory role as enshrined in NBBF constitution and resist all temptation to box and gag the federation towards the interest of any person or group of persons.
“That the venue of the election agreed upon by congress remains sacrosanct as it is within the constitutional power of the congress to take that decision,” Owoicho said.
He said the students’ body decided to get involved in the crisis rocking the NBBF because it was affecting students who are into the game of basketball.
“NANS has always been interested in sports and many students are into one sport or the other. Some of them pay their school fees from the proceeds of sports.
“Sports also keep youths from vices and when there is a problem in sports, there is a problem in the society,” he said when queried about the sudden interest in sports.
The NBBF has been in crisis since 2017 when the body held parallel elections that produced Musa Kida and Tijani Umar as presidents.
The crisis was heightened with the oncoming election of members of the board of the federation which has been slated for October 30, 2021, in Benin, Edo State.
However, prominent stakeholders of basketball in Nigeria are raising objections over some clauses in the constitution and the decision of the Kida-led caretaker committee to take the election to Edo State.
They said the Kida-led caretaker committee prevented them from making submissions at the congress where the constitution was ratified and the date and venue fixed for the election.
Hundreds of basketball players, led by the players’ representative in the NBBF, Stanley Gumut, protested last week, asking Kida to leave the basketball scene.