By Albert Akota
The President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Mr. Igoche Mark has called on Basketball players group, under the aegis of Concerned Progressive Ballers (CPB), to observe maximum restraint, and call off their plan to hit the streets of Abuja this week.
According to Mr. Mark, the NBBF is reliably informed by impeccable sources, that the players have vowed to stage a massive protest in Abuja, to bring to the attention of the Federal Government, and People of Abuja, what they described as,
“clandestine moves” by Youth and Sports Development Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, to foist Engr. Musa Kida on them as NBBF President.
In a swift reaction to the above, the NBBF in statement signed by its President, Mr. Mark cautioned the agitated players to exercise restrain, in digesting the rumours, concerning the Sports Ministry stance in the NBBF leadership impasse, which has now gone viral.
He described the report of the Sports Ministry preference for Engr. Kida as fake news, while noting that he remains the authentic NBBF President, as he was overwhelmingly voted into office, on January 31, 2022 in Abuja, by all key Stakeholders of Nigerian Basketball, in compliance with the guidelines, made available by the Sports Ministry.
“I want to plead with our players planning the protest or showdown with the Sports Ministry over the rumour or perceived bias in handling the post election crisis in the NBBF, to please exercise restraint and stay calm.
As I speak, there has been no official communication from the Sports Ministry nullifying the election held at MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja where I and other members of our Board were elected. We followed the Ministry’s guidelines just like other federation boards that emerged in September, 2021.
The report that the Sports Minister has nullified the elections of January 31, 2022 in Abuja is therefore baseless, a figment of the imagination of those circulating the rumor, or put simply *fake news*.
Mr. Mark went on to stress that the NBBF Board with him at the helm, will always prioritize the welfare, of players, home and abroad, and he has consequently directed the Players Rep in the Board, Mr. Stanely Gumut to meet with the aggrieved players on Monday with a view to listening to their grievances, offer them the true position of things, and ultimately pacify the aggitated ones among them.