Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
Some technical stakeholders of Nigerian basketball have petitioned the National Assembly to intervene and stave Nigeria from an impending FIBA sanctions from international basketball ahead of the November 30 deadline given by the body to Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to resolve it’s internal crisis.
The stakeholders include; Coach Scott Innocent Nnaji, President Nigeria Basketball Coaches Association (NBCA), Babatunde Popoola (FIBA Referee) / President, Nigeria Basketball Referees Council; and Skambo Morrison, (FIBA Technical Commissioner) /President, Technical Commissioners Association.
In a communiquÃ© issued during the Kwese Premier Basketball League in Kano, they resolved that the bodies should present a written appeal to the National Assembly as a neutral and democratic national institution representing the diverse interest of the Nigerian people, to assist the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) in midwifing the current NBBF crisis.
FIBA issued the deadline for a mutually acceptable resolution between the Tijani Umar and Musa Kida factions through a new election or an amicable settlement.
But the stakeholders appealed to the National Assembly to wade in as a matter of urgent national importance, given the limitations of NOC to be able to strike any acceptable deal in the light of the difficult task assigned to it.
The meeting also resolved to appeal to all mediating parties namely, FIBA, NOC and the National Assembly to consult closely with all basketball stakeholders in the country.
NBBF has been rocked by crisis since the two parallel elections in June produced two different boards, with both claiming to be the validly elected custodians of NBBF.
The crisis prompted FIBA to warn of a dire consequence if the dispute remains unresolved after the deadline, with the possibility of NBBF being subjected to sanctions, including without limitation, a suspension of the membership with FIBA.