President of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Engr. Musa Kida used the opportunity of Wednesday’s meeting of the federation at the National Stadium, Lagos to list the achievements of the board since inception last year.
Kida who kicked off the meeting of stakeholders drawn from all the six geopolitical zones of the country reeling out his performance sheet said the conquests of the country’s basketball teams, especially the male D’Tigers) and female (D’Tigresses) teams on the continent, were possible because of a strong desire to succeed, the distractions over disputed elections notwithstanding.
“We were faced with raising teams for the Afro-basket championships for both our male and female national teams right in the middle of the legitimacy crisis just after the present board was sworn- in.
” But we were determined to succeed, and succeed we did by weathering the storm of legitimacy to win both gold and silver for our teams on the continent. Subsequently, the D’ Tigress who won the women’s Afro basketball championship was hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa during a Federal Executive Council meeting.
“And those successes coming so early in the life of our tenure was the encouragement we needed to go all out to reposition the sport after years of under utilisation of the huge potential in the sector.
“That, we even got Total E & P Nigeria Limited to sponsor our basketball league is a testimony of corporate Nigeria’s confidence in the board’s leadership'” he said.
Even as the stage is being set for fresh elections to reconcile all contending interests as prescribed by the sport’s governing body, FIBA, Kida still called for unity amongst the stakeholders for a better future for the game in the country.
“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 any sentiments. There is no “us” or “them”, and we will continue to do all it takes to carry everyone along”, he added.
Kida would also use the opportunity to inform the gathering of the country’s hosting of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Group B qualifiers that would see the D’Tigers competing against teams from other African countries in Lagos for the first time in 15 years.