Stories By Amaechi Agbo
Nigerian Basketball Players on Tuesday stormed the office of Nigeria’s Youth and Sports Development Minister, Mr. Sunday Dare, to register in very strong term, the seeming unwillingness of the ministry to resolve the post election impasse rocking the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), since January 31, 2022.
Two elections of the said date – in Abuja as directed by the Ministry, and in Benin City, as decided by the immediate past President of the NBBF, Engr. Musa Kida were held same day with two presidents and boards merging.
The visibly angry players led by the Players Representative in the NBBF Board, Mr. Stanely Gumut told sorts journalists that the procession to the Sports Minister office was part of resolutions reached at their meeting held last week Tuesday.
Gumut said at the meeting, the players were aggitated that the ministry appears to be indifferent, while the leadership tussle takes a toll on their individual careers, and hampers the growth of the domestic component of Nigerian basketball. He stated that Mark D Ball Basketball Championship has kept them busy. The players insisted that their future after Mark D Ball Championship is uncertain.
The players also decried the inaction of the Sports Minister, as it concerns some other recent events, which in their wisdom is unfavorable to them and the sport.
The players who turned out in their numbers added that the resolution to visit the honourable Minister was sequel to the non receipt of a response from series of letters written to the Sports Minister.
“We thought it wise to visit the Games Master General of the country, and have an honest conversation with him. Our visit shouldn’t be deemed a protest, because it is a visit to the Sports Minister, who in addition is the custodian of all sports in Nigeria, is like a father figure to us. Mark D Ball Championship has kept us busy in recent years,but with the championship coming to an end,we are tempted to ask, what would become our future as players?” Gumut queried.
Gumut concluded that unfortunately for the players, the players were told the Minister was not on seat, and would not be in the office any soon, and that left the players with no other alternative, other than to match to the office of the Director FEAD to express their displeasure.