A group of Nigerian basketball fans under the aegis of Nigerian Sports Advancement Group (NSAG) has called on the Federal Government to investigate Musa Kida led Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF) over alleged corruption.
The group in a press briefing held in Abuja on Monday said that while the FG has released money for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the federation through the basketball team’s coach opened a GOFUNDME account where ex-basketball players who based abroad sent in money to assist the team in Olympics participation, therefore, the need for proper accountability.
NSAG Chairman, Barr. Charles Offiong said the NBBF should be asked to give an account of the money realized in the last four years because according to he, no single home-based basketball player was listed in the Olympics male (D’Tigers) and the female team (D’Tigress), so what have they been using the money for if not to develop players for such events.
“Our responsibility is to raise the alarm whenever things are no longer going well with our sports; mostly from the administrative angle to enable us to find a solution”t
“This is because sports in Nigeria have proven to be a unifying factor for the relative peace we enjoy in this country, notwithstanding the recent insecurity challenges in the country
“Basketball is gradually fizzling out in Nigeria because of the lack of foresight and good initiative on the part of those managing it at the moment,” he said.
Offiong noted that instead of Musa Kida led the NBBF caretaker committee looking for ways to develop the game of basketball which was competing with football in the past in the country, he was busy plotting how to stop Nigerians from contesting the forthcoming NBBF elections.
“Unfortunately, there is unnecessary interferences and the connivance by actors in the administration to use draconian guidelines to stop our foreign-based ex-basketball players who have gathered experience and the passion to lead our basketball to its Eldorado. So, ” We kick against such move by Kida led caretaker committee and warn if that is not checked by the FG, it will sink the game in the country.
“Our findings have shown those former basketball players like; Masai Ujiri (President Toronto Raptors), Isa Umar (NBBF board member) and Ejike Ugboaja (Players representative at the NBBF) and many others out there could be the messiah basketball players in Nigeria are waiting for but the move by Kida and co to prevent them from contesting the position of the president is a move against the growth of the game and we condemn it in its entirety.
“Nigeria basketball fans will not tolerate any guidelines that will undermine the growth of basketball in the country. If Nigeria can have a foreign coach and foreign players while not have Nigerians in Diaspora who have experienced in the game and administration of basketball to be involved in the board by contesting the Presidency of the NBBF in order to take the game to the appropriate level.
“We are of the opinion that any Nigerian; home or abroad who wishes to contest for any position in the upcoming basketball federation election should be allowed once the statute is not against it.
“We are by this press briefing calling on the Minister of Sports to set up the electoral Committee accordingly to include the interest of Nigerian home and abroad, because anything short of that will be resisted by all,” Offiong added.