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Basketball: Nigeria gets deadline for NBBF election

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After failing to conduct the much-anticipated Nigeria Basketball Federation elections on October 30, the country has now been given up until January 31, 2022, to conduct the polls or risk sanctions from the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA).

The FIBA stance was communicated via a letter addressed to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare, on November 19.

FIBA declared it will not entertain any amendment to the 2019 NBBF constitution. It also unequivocally stated that National Member Federations (NMF) must manage their affairs independently without the influence of third parties and ensure that their officials are elected or appointed under a democratic process in line with Article 9.7 of the FIBA’s General Statutes.

To accommodate the interest of all parties, the Central Board of the body approved the January 31, 2022 extension date for the conduct of a fresh election into the board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation by Congress.

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This move is to accommodate the ongoing peace and reconciliation move of the Federal Government at the behest of the Minister.

Signed by the FIBA President, Hamane Niang and Andreas Zagklis (FIBA Secretary), the letter stated that, “We hereby inform you that FIBA’s Central Board has approved a deadline extension for the celebration of the Nigeria Basketball Federation’s (NBBF) Electoral Congress up until 31 January 2022. In doing so, FIBA reiterates and confirms the contents of our letter dated 2 November 2021, including that FIBA, will not recognise any changes to the NBBF’s statutes prior to the celebration of the Electoral Congress.

After a term in office, Musa Kida is in the frame to return as NBBF president, but that ambition is being kicked against by some stakeholders; including Mr Kida’s predecessor Tijani Umar.

While other sporting federations have long concluded their election and winners have since taken over the administration of the activities, the NBBF is still in limbo without a scheduled date and venue to elect a new board and by extension a new president.

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There was an initial standoff between the Ministry and the Kida faction before a compromise was reached and the election was finally put on hold.

Many were nonetheless taken aback on why the ministry is seen to be speaking from both sides of its mouth having publicly admitted that “the NBBF has a constitution recognised by FIBA which should be abided with for election.

Regarding the participation of the national teams in the FIBA 2023 World Cup African Qualifiers, FIBA confirmed that the NBBF holds the obligation to manage the affairs of the national team independently and without the influence of third parties.

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