There’s insanity ongoing in Nigeria basketball and it behoves on those who still have any sense and a moral obligation to the sport to step up and address this dance of shame.
The Aphorism – I’d assume – “nobody wants to see their mothers dance naked in the market square,” would suffice here. Any decent child, raised well will forestall that terrible sighting.
But to think that two masquerades parading themselves as the brides of a sport they claim to love is almost choking the life from it takes the drama to a whole new height.
Firstly, everything about how the recent national sports federations elections were conducted is wrong. Going into the details will just be a waste of time.
But what appears even more vile is that all the parties involved will boldly declare they are committed to the furtherance of basketball. How so? When the same factions are out there soiling the name of the Country and sport.
Nothing is right with having two different groups claiming leadership of one sport body and if Tijani Umar and Musa Kida had any sense, both will desist from polarizing this personal aggrandizement any further.
While tugging at the lose fabric of basketball; in the process attempting to expose its nakedness – inadvertently or not – these men care not or pretend to be unaware that Nigeria stands to lose ultimately.
The Nation’s image is battered as it is; missing out on major tournaments this year already, and here we stand observing a potentially disruptive situation with the 2017 FIBA Women’s AfroBasket now and perhaps the Men’s afterwards.
After spliting the administrative house, both men have extended the game of cards to our national team players, who must now pick sides and decide which group to align with.
The Tijani Umar board; on July 11, invited 22 players for the Championship. Responding to that move, the Musa Kida board not only disclaimed the list but also announced a 29 players have been invited in a preliminary released at the weekend.
Interestingly, both boards duplicated 18 names in their respective lists. And while the divided hose bickers over legitimacy or not, the tip off date of the Championship remains August 18.
The Preliminary lists contain 18 duplicated names:
Helen Ogunjimi – Helen Ogunjimi
Sarah Ogoke – Sarah Ogoke
Adaora Elonu – Elonu Adaora
Ndidi Madu – Ndidi Madu
Uju Ugoka – Uju Ugoka
Joyce Ekworomadu – Joyce Ekworomadu
Ezinne Kalu – Ezinne Kalu
Sarah Imovbioh – Sarah Imovbioh
Promise Amukamara – Promise Amukamara
Ugo Nwaigwe – Ugochi Nwaigwe
Evelyn Akhator – Evelyn Akhator
Atosu Upe – Upe Atosu
Chioma Udeaja – Chioma Udeaja
Nkechi Akashili – Nkechi Akashili
Akaraiwe Nkem – Nkem Akaraiwe
Ume Gloria – Gloria Umeh
Elawure Tina Odion – Elawere Odion Tina
Isaac Christiana – Christiana Isaac
How can either Umar or Kida claim this is for the good of basketball?
At this point, we can as well forfeit our participation at the Women’s championship if these two insist on pushing this egocentric case of actual illegal claims to a legitimate position.
Basketball in Nigeria is not where it ought to be and with two parallel bodies, it has not faired any better, rather it’s making a turn for the worse.
Unfortunately still, the players (welfare and development)and by extension growth of the sport, which should have formed the fulcrum of the agenda are now puns in this battle of “who blinks first.”
However, I’d like to also state that the biggest ignominy will come from the government recognizing any of the groups by way of funding the camp exercise.
What this whole episode has simply revealed is the depth of the rot in the inherited system and the flaws of one meant to address the malaise.
Nobody out there is innocent, but the shame of dancing naked before the eyes of the world should be enough to make us halt and restraint ourselves.
It’s insane to have two NBBF Presidents and even weirder to pretend there’s nothing wrong with presenting two lists of invited players for a championship.
The biggest damnation will then be to pretend funding either one is the right thing under any circumstance.
Basketball is for civil persons, what we have now is evident of the lack of such characters.
Regrettably, nobody will thus stop the mother from dancing naked in the square; she met the family members already lost to the drumming of the dance of shame.
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