By Joe Apu
President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Musa Kida, has extended the olive branch to all stakeholders to come around the board to enable it to hit the ground running in its quest to start a domestic programme that players, technical officials and all stakeholders will be proud of.
Kida, according to the NBBF media, stated this in his first official response following the congratulatory message from the Federation of International Basketball Associations (FIBA) after the January 31 election in Benin City. He said so much time had been wasted on political gimmicks that have adversely affected domestic basketball.
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“Our domestic players have been the worst hit amidst all these distractions because it has been difficult to even engage with sponsors to get needed funds to run the various leagues. Nigerian players deserve more from all of us and we must do better.”
“The national teams have been going for international competitions in their bid to qualify for the Afrobasket for men and the 2022 World Cup for women because the federation had on several occasions shifted grounds in the interest of Nigeria.”
The NBBF president described as unfortunate the current trend where people intentionally create artificial crises just to make the basketball atmosphere toxic.
“The Federal Government does not fund the domestic leagues, so it is our duty as a board to go out there in search of sponsors and partners. Sadly, getting partners has been extremely difficult because of the unnecessary bickering.”
He enjoined all stakeholders to join hands with the federation to create a domestic basketball system that will be all inclusive.
“Not everybody can be on the NBBF board at the same time. We need to support those there right now so that when it is your turn, you will have an existing structure to contribute your quota,” Kida concluded.