Tijani Umar-led faction of the Nigeria Basketball Federation has welcomed the extension of the deadline by FIBA to allow for the resolution of the dispute following the elections of June 2017.
In a press statement signed by Patrick Omorodion, head of its Media Committee, the NBBF stressed that “it has become necessary for the world governing body of the sport to get to the root of the problem to forestall such happening again in the future,” adding that “and in setting up the three-man fact-finding delegation, FIBA has demonstrated the need for due diligence in solving a problem needlessly created by wanton disregard for due process and the adoption of impunity in an otherwise straight-forward exercise.”
Continuing, it said “There is now a unique opportunity for the parties to make their case before a neutral body whose report is expected to be factual, above board and hopefully lead to an acceptable outcome.”
FIBA in it’s letter sent last week, analysed and reviewed the documents sent within the July 26-November 30 deadline and thought it wise to extend the deadline to February 28, 2018 while a 3-man fact finding committee has been set up to visit Nigeria and deliver their report to FIBA executive committee during their Congress on March 10, 2018. Members of the fact finding committee are FiBA executive director Alphonse Bile, advisor to the secretary general Lubomir Kotleba and FIBA competition commission member Fode Amara Conde.
“While awaiting the Fiba delegation, the federation is currently consulting and strategizing to conclude the 2017 programs, namely, Divisions 1 & 2 and prepare for the 2018 season. Specifically, the Kwese and Zenith Leagues Management Committees will be restructured, enhanced and deployed in a manner to surpass the success achieved in the out-going year,” the NBBF stressed as it wished “all (basketball) stakeholders a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.”
In a chat with ACLSports, Omorodion expressed his disappointment on how the NOC had mishandled the NBBF dispute.
“NOC didn’t come to our election in Kano and that’s why FIBA didn’t recognise it. According to FIBA, the NOC must supervise your elections. Based on the letter written by Tunde Popoola, NOC Secretary-General, said he was not aware of the Kano elections, he was organising the Abuja elections and also witnessed it.”
He pondered on the outcome of the annual general meeting of the NOC taking place in Lagos on Tuesday.
“Will the members be bold to tell the President, Habu Gumel and secretary general, Tunde Popoola that they have been bought by the sports ministry and have goofed on the issue of the NBBF crisis by taking sides with a faction in the crisis? He asked.
“The NOC has also lost face with FIBA which has now taken it upon itself to come down to Nigeria to see things for itself and resolve it the best way it could” he concluded.