By James Bwala
The Basketball Federation has never had it so good until Ahmadu Musa Kida came onboard as it’s President in 2017. The successes achieved within the period of leading the Basketball was remarkable in the history of the federation in Nigeria. Many sport loving Nigerians who knew the federation long before now have been asking on how Ahmadu Musa Kida made it where others failed.
Recent findings showed that the NBBF President was not only in love with the game but have a bond with Basketball that he made such sacrifices no other person would have thought of doing for the game.
According close associates of Ahmadu Musa Kida, he has put in over four billion naira (N4,000,000,000:00) from his personal wealth to save the federation from the administrative bottlenecks that would have slow the pace of achievements as in other sports in Nigeria. Out of this amount, about have was refunded while over two billion naira (M2,000,000,000:00) was still hanging with the ministry for payments.
It surprises sports loving Nigerians to understand that Ahmadu Musa Kida has sustained the Federation in virtually all outing including allowances, renting of pitch and hotel accommodation of players and officials, while the ministry continued to play politics with the game.
Speaking recently with a close associates of Ahmadu Musa Kida with information about the running of the federation, Madu Bata said that, Ahmadu Musa Kida took the job of running the office of the President, when he won to serve his first term of office in 2017, with great sense of responsibility and commitment, in the sense that he was single handedly financing the activities of the Federation,personally, knowing so well that government bureaucracy will always be a problem in smooth funding as and when due, coupled with the out break of the Covid-19 pandemic that grounded economic activities, globally.
According to him, ” he personally funded both the “D Tigers and D Tigress” international activities to success, at both continental and global levels, based on his personal commitment and adequate funding for the game.
“That he never waited for the release of funds from government to adequately prepare the teams and go on tournaments to effectively represent Nigeria, as those approvals came very late, hence the enviable result making Nigeria as one of the greatest Basketball playing nation in the world, and during Your Excellency’s administration. He did this, knowing fully well that the credit will go to President Muhammadu Buhari.
” Why I said this is because when President Buhari was setting up his machinery of campaign around 2015. Ahmaduusa Kida was then very optimistic that Buhari has what it takes to turn this country around. It was his fervent belief that despite the daunting challenge of fighting asymmetric war and the covid 19 pandemic, the President have been able to emerge very successful at the face of this critical period when the entire world was facing recession and other global challenges.
” The emergence of the D’Tigress as champion of the world was as a result of the commitment Ahmadu Musa Kida put and that was exactly what the country used as its pride in sports by showcasing the first cup the D’Tigress won, during Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary celebration.” Said Madu Bata.
Another personality Abba Kaka who spoke on the current development in the federation said
” Ahmadu Musa Kida spent over N4,000,000,000.00 (Four Billion Naira) from his personal resources as well as borrowed funds to achieve the feet in NBBF, out of which only about 40% of such refundable funds were refunded to him as of now. So the allegations been peddled around that he misappropriated the Nigeria Basketball Federation funds are mendacious allegations that have no basis in law or common sense.
“It is strange for one to be accused of misappropriating his refunded funds.
Musa Kida has made more personal sacrifices to the Nigerian Basketball Federation than all the former Presidents put together. His contribution include, but not limited to, engaging a National Basketball Association (NBA) of America accredited coach, paying competitive allowances for all the professional players that came to play for Nigeria, other fees required to get the signature of these professional players and to be released to play for Nigeria, hosting Nigeria players in the best hotels around the world and hiring basketball training ground in foreign countries to camp the teams, and other expenses he incurred and never demanded for a refund, as part of his contributions towards the growth and development of the game of Basketball.”
On the elections, Umaru Adamu said pursuant to the election which Ahmadu Musa Kida emerged as president,,to serve his second and final term of four (4 )years was transparently conducted, free and fair, and according to the provisions of the NBBF approved constitution, with the absolute approval of the Minister and the Congress of the NBBF, that sanctioned that the elections be conducted in Benin, as approved by the congress of the NBBF.
“The election was conducted live and transmitted across the world,with FIBA officials, the world governing body, monitoring it, and at the end, adjudged to be one of the freest, fair and transparent elections ever monitored.
“For obvious reasons, however, the Ministry has refused to recognize the elections as they claim that another elections were conducted in Abuja, in clear contravention of the approvals of the NBBF congress, the electoral guidelines and the Provisions of the NBBF statutes( constitution), which the Ministry is now using to prevent a smooth transition to another board of a new term( 2022-2026).
“This is totally against the resolution of the Congress and contrary to the directives of the Supervising Minister of the Ministry, for the elections to be conducted in Benin, which the Secretary General of the Federation, a staff of the Ministry seconded to the Federation, flaunted the instruction of the Minister, by deliberately abstaining from the Benin elective congress.
” Let me informed you that Ahmadu Musa Kida inherited the administration of the game of Basketball, as President, from Tijjani Umar, who is a permanent Secretary in the Presidential Villa, who collected over $2,000,000.00 (Two Million Dollars) from Kwesse , the sponsors of the Basketball Premier League, to stage the 2017 league season, when he took over office, then they went to court to stop us from organizing the league for over three (3) years pursuant to which the tournament never held till this year, and the entire amount was embezzled with no record that it has been returned to the sponsors or the Federation’s coffers.
” I do not know what Tijjani Umar was still doing in government services when he was supposed to have been retired by now except if he had doctored his years of service because I know him as a teacher in 1986 in Bauchi state. His
interference in the activities of Basketball as well as the Ministry is counterproductive to supporting the activities of NBBF, the same bureaucracy that killed football and other sporting activities is now playing out in Basketball.” Said Umar
It has been reported that the frequent unnecessary interference in sport administration by the supervising Ministry is against international best practice in sports, and empirical evidence have shown that the lacklustre performance recorded in sport of recent, and Basketball in Particular, is caused by the unnecessary taking over of the Federation’s activities by the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, that are supposed to play an oversight function only.
The recent call by the Ministry for the withdrawal of Nigeria from all International Basketball competition for two (2) years is not done in good faith or in the best interest of the game.