A former captain of the Nigeria men’s basketball team, D’Tigers, Olumide Oyedeji, has added his voice to the ongoing debates around the crisis rocking the Nigerian Basketball Federation (NBBF).
Mr Oyedeji, while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES in an exclusive interview, insists that the present NBBF constitution needs reform and become an all-inclusive one, for peace to reign in the country’s basketball family.
Though approved by FIBA, the former NBA star suggests the present NBBF constitution is skewed in favour of a few, a development he described as unacceptable.
He said: “We must have an all-inclusive constitution, not a constitution that was made for one or two people.”
Mr Oyedeji continued: “The most important thing is that people failed to realise that the constitution that we adopted in 2019 was not all-inclusive.
“People need to understand and realize that until we are all sincere with ourselves.
“We all look at ourselves in the mirror and put aside selfish interests that we call national interest.”
Despite initially agreeing on an October 30 date for an election, the Nigeria Basketball Federation is yet to choose a new date for its polls.
Already, the world governing body for basketball, FIBA, has sent a letter to the Minister of Youth and Sports development, Sunday Dare, indicating a January 31, 2022 deadline for the NBBF election to hold.
Signed by the FIBA President, Hamane Niang and Andreas Zagklis (FIBA Secretary), the letter stated that any changes to the NBBF’s statutes prior to the celebration of the Electoral Congress.
Commenting on the situation, Mr Oyedeji said while he is not interested in the ongoing crisis, he is always ready to serve in any capacity to advance the gains of basketball in the country
“As I’m right now, I can just tell you right now, still looking at the situation. The only thing I can say is whenever the opportunity comes to serve the country and my people, my door is always open.” the former D’Tigers captain told PREMIUM TIMES.
Mr Oyedeji also added he is available to serve in the federation that emerges.
“I am always ready to serve in any capacity of basketball, due to the game that made me, that gave me the fame, security, exposure so I’m always ready to give back to my community.
“ For me, I’m more focused on my reach in the South West. For they say, Charity begins at home, so here I am trying to look at how I can develop Basketball in community and constituency.
“Right now, I still need to consult whether we are talking about national or non-national but right now I’m still looking at what the situation is but when the time comes for the poll, then I will decide what I want to do and what I’m going to do at that point.”