Nigeria: NBBF – We’re Focused On Way Forward – Kida
President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF, Musa Kida spoke with the press on the issue of legitimacy and why they have not been able to function.
Given the fact that Nigeria will be preparing for international tournaments, what are you doing to reach out to other stakeholders who are not very pleased with what is going on?
For me, what we are trying to do is to try and disseminate whatever information that is on ground. So typically, when FIBA recognised us on the 8th of March, we have been reaching out to them, collating the types of activities that are very localised so that we can feed them in to the handbook programme of events. We are reaching out to them on things that have been happening before like the Division one and two men’s league. We have also been reaching out to our sponsors, some of who are a bit hesitant and asking questions as to what is happening.
Like I said, our constitution has very strong demands on the structure but we need authority from the ministry to function. You cannot give me an assignment without the authority to do the work. We are very focused on the way forward.
It’s been observed that there is another faction claiming legitimacy to the NBBF. Intriguingly, the ministry of sports is romancing with them and romancing with your board as well. How would this play out eventually?
I don’t believe there was election in any other place. Who were the delegates, who voted for who? These are the simple basic questions that even a simple village meeting will ask and seek answers to. All these things are enshrined in the constitution as a matter of protocol. There was only one election, which held in Benin. I know what we did and the results are obvious. We had our constitution since 2019.
Both the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Nigeria Olympic Committee have approved. Our election has been very strict and rigorous. There was even a legal test of what we did, which passed wonderfully. We are very clear as the bonafide board. For whatever reasons I don’t know, but it looks like a wild goose chase the other side.
Despite the uncertainty, there are international tournaments like the world championship, what are the plans in place for Nigeria’s participation in these tournament?
International programmes are international programmes, I will not go into them. Locally, we have a calendar of events. Our men’s divisions 1 & 2 leagues sponsored by Total are still there, the women’s division 1 league sponsored by Zenith Bank is still there. We have an infusion of some tournaments and leagues by people who have brought proposals.
Clusters of zonal meets, the Premier League which is principal to us and we have started talking with sponsors. You would have noticed that about a month ago, there was a 3 on 3 tournament here in Lagos. That had the stamp of the NBBF. So we have very ambitious programme of events. The board would sit and ratify that and it will become a public document.
With the lull in activities, people will be disillusioned. Have you felt the pulse of your board members to know what their feelings are at the moment?
Most of the board members understand what is going on. Some are even suggesting, we move on without waiting for approval. Then we have some who are extreme in their position and are saying ‘look president, I don’t think if you call me for a meeting I will answer except I really know that we are the board. As the President, I am just being very careful in order to carry everybody along. But typical of me, what I usually tell people to do is to exercise patience.