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Kida waves olive branch

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By Jacob Ajom

In what sounds like a call for peace in the Nigeria Basketball family, President of a faction of the Nigeria Basketball Federation, Musa Kida has called on stakeholders in Nigeria Basketball to rally round his board in order to move the game forward.

Speaking at a stakeholders meeting at the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium in Lagos Tuesday, Kida said, “I want to state categorically that I and members of the NBBF are willing to work with each and every basketball stakeholder in Nigeria devoid of sentiments,” adding, “there is no ‘us’ or ‘them’ and we will continue to do all it takes to carry everyone along.”

Kida whose 10-month reign has been overshadowed by the leadership crisis that trailed the controversial election of his board reeled out his numerous achievements but insisted, “we are not yet where we want to be.”

Some of the achievements include winning the Afrobasket Women in 2017 which qualified the country as Africa’s representatives to the 2018 FIBA Women’s World Cup in Spain, participated in the Afrobasket men 2017 which the team ended with a silver. Nigeria also took part in the the Tornoi Salamatou Maiga 3×3 tournament among other ground-breaking achievements

“One of my cardinal goals and objectives as President of the NBBF, is to take basketball to the grassroots, so our youths and other stakeholders of the game who have been neglected for so long would have the opportunity of competing effectively right in their backyards.”

One of the new board’s biggest achievements is the recent sponsorship deal struck between the NBBF and Total Nigeria for the national league divisions 1 and 2.

The stakeholders meeting ended without any timetable for the proposed fresh election FIBA has ordered. But the house was told that efforts were being made to set a constitution drafting committee, which is in line with FIBA’s recommendation for fresh elections.

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