The crisis in the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) appears to be far from over, as the immediate past president of the federation, Musa Kida, insists on holding the elective congress in Benin, despite opposition from some stakeholders who prefer Lagos.
The NBBF has been embroiled in a leadership tussle since 2017 when two parallel factions emerged, each claiming legitimacy. The crisis has led to the federation being banned by FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, and has affected the development of the sport in Nigeria.
The upcoming elective congress, scheduled for January 31st, was expected to bring an end to the crisis by electing new leadership for the NBBF. However, Kida’s insistence on holding the congress in Benin, his hometown, has raised concerns about the fairness and transparency of the process.
Some stakeholders have accused Kida of trying to manipulate the election in his favor by holding it in a location that favors him. They argue that Lagos, which is considered the commercial hub of Nigeria and has a large basketball community, would be a more suitable venue.
However, Kida has defended his decision, saying that Benin is a neutral location and that holding the congress in Lagos would give an unfair advantage to some candidates.
The disagreement over the venue has led to calls for FIBA to intervene and ensure a free and fair election. FIBA has previously warned that any attempt to manipulate the process would result in further sanctions against the NBBF.
The crisis in the NBBF highlights the need for transparency and accountability in sports governance. It also underscores the importance of resolving disputes through dialogue and consensus-building rather than resorting to litigation and other forms of conflict.
As the January 31st congress approaches, it remains to be seen whether Kida’s insistence on Benin as the venue will be accepted by all stakeholders or if FIBA will step in to ensure a level playing field. Whatever the outcome, the future of basketball in Nigeria depends on the ability of the NBBF to resolve its leadership crisis and work towards the development of the sport.