By Dele Boluwaji:
After consultations, the Tijani Umar led Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF faction has declared that they are ready for peace and reconciliation with the Musa Kida-led group, in compliance with FIBA mediation, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
FIBA had earlier written to the two factions vying to be in control of the board to settle their differences.
Umar, said in a statement signed by the Media Consultant, Mr. Patrick Omorodion that: “We are ready to honour the invitation from the Nigeria Olympic Committee, NOC, that FIBA Africa has appointed as the only body that would ensure reconciliation in Nigerian basketball. We shall submit to all measures that would employed by the Olympic Committee towards achieving peace.
“Our interest bothers on the players, officials and the general basketball stakeholders who make a living from basketball. We have resolved in our board meeting to do everything possible to ensure the game is developed in Nigeria both at the local and international levels.
"For the interest of the game, we shall not send any letter to basketball stakeholders asking them not to work with any group, as the letter sent in by FIBA Africa said specifically that it did not recognize any of the two groups, but will only send correspondence to the Musa Kida group.
“Sending correspondence does not mean recognition and we understand that perfectly. Asking players and officials not to deal with any particular group is retrogressive and injurious to peace and reconciliation as directed by FIBA Africa.”
Tijani Umar, assured all basketball stakeholders, players and officials that he is optimistic that before the November deadline given by FIBA Africa, peace would have returned to the country’s basketball.
He admonished all the players invited for the Afrobasket Championships, male and female, to work amicably with the group which FIBA Africa for now maintains correspondence with.
“The players must try their best to make Nigeria proud again at the Afrobasket, which D’Tigers are defending champions,” he stated
He commended the leadership of FIBA Africa for making a bold move to ensure a lasting peace in Nigerian basketball.
He said: “I believe so much that the letter to the two groups is just the best and the only way to resolve the crisis and I am very happy that before the end of November, normalcy will return to Nigerian basketball."
Meanwhile, Completesportsnigeria.com spoke with retired Colonel Sam Ahmedu who is one of the key actors in the Musa Kida-led board, and he said that Umar's submission was a welcome idea development.
"I have not heard this or read the release, but now that you are telling me, I will say it is a welcome idea and we will be ready for peace as well," Ahmedu who is presently in Ondo state stated.
" All we are doing is in the interest of basketball and we all remain one big family to move the sport forward," he concluded.