Nine days after the administrative order issued by the Minister of youths and sports development, Chief Sunday Dare through the permanent secretary of the ministry, Malam Abubakar, to halt the October 30th Elective Congress scheduled for Benin City of Edo state, a call has gone to the ministry to announce a new date for the elective congress.
Umaru Victor, member of Edo State Basketball Association, member competition committee and protocol committee of the Nigeria Basketball Federation made this call in a press briefing held on Tuesday afternoon in Benin City.
Recall that the Ministry of Sports in a letter dated 25th October and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ismaila Abubakar directed that the Elective Congress scheduled for this Saturday be postponed indefinitely pending when the leadership problems rocking the federation is settled.
The Congress, however, after the Extra-Ordinary meeting on Zoom in compliance took to the advice of the Ministry of Sports and postponed the elections indefinitely. The Congress was also mandated by the caretaker Chairman of the Nigeria Basketball Federation to work hand in hand with the Ministry of Sports for positive discussion for free, fair and successful elections.
Umoru Victor while addressing the press said he’s calling on the ministry to make public the new date for the elective congress.
“I want to use this medium to call on all concerned and every law-abiding Nigerian to tell them that Edo state, the ‘Mecca of Sports’ in Nigeria is ready, willing and able to host the elective Congress which the highest ruling body has voted for to be the centre of the venue for the election scheduled for 30th October 2021.
“At the same time I do know that the constitution is supreme and sacrosanct I want whoever the concerned interest groups to know that the constitution is supreme and the Congress is supreme. Let the decision of the Congress stand and let this election hold because Benin City is historic ground and it’s equally historic in the history of Nigerian basketball that this would be the first election done according to the constitution and this constitution that has been ratified and certified by FIBA and the national Olympic committee is what we are going to use for this election.”
“At the same time, I think Nigerians and especially basketball followers should applause the leadership qualities of Engr Musa Kida, haven obeyed the former honourable Minister, Solomon Dalung who made it clear that the ministry and NOC will not come and conduct the election, but they will sit back and play the advisory role or sit back and come observe the election.”
“In an earlier meeting with the current honourable mister of sports, Mr Sunday Dare, he did make it clear that basketball election should go on according to the constitution and I’m sure that’s where Engr. Musa Kida drew his powers from.”
“We voted for the electoral committee, the venue and date and I’m sure it’s in the minutes of the extraordinary Congress, but to my greatest surprise, the permanent secretary who was in a dual capacity as the permanent secretary and representative of the Minister of sports who declared the extraordinary Congress open was the same gentleman who 72 hours later is announcing the postponement of this Congress.”
“Let me at this point make it clear that funds have been committed and I have lost so much preparing for this because as a basketball family I have not seen the likes of Lawal Garuba, Director of Sports in Bauchi; permanent secretary, Tijani Umar in a long while, Stanley Gumot, Scott Nnaji, Tina Emmanuel in Benue; so, it was an opportunity to host these people and have paid for everything, from the contractors who have bought perishable and will not refund the monies – if I have to quantify this amount, I’m sure Nigerians will be weeping for me.”
“So, I’m using this medium to plead with the honourable Minister, permanent secretary of the ministry too as a matter of urgency set the date as we are waiting to host all well-meaning basketball stakeholders.”
Speaking on the reason for the postponement when asked, the member, NBBF protocol committee.
“That’s a million-dollar question and it’s a bit difficult for me as an individual to answer because like I did say, everything was in place, and as I’m now, I’m in the dark and I think this is an appropriate medium to appeal to the honourable Minister.”
“At a time, we heard a rumour that there’s no peace and that’s why, but I do know that why some people will converge in Abuja to say that they are not happy, I don’t know why people should create trouble where there’s none.”
“We had extraordinary Congress, nobody shouted at anybody, nobody fought and nothing went wrong there; I wonder what they want to build on. Politics is about a game of numbers, if you don’t like A, you vote your choice and it stands and I think that’s why you have the Congress.