When the music is professionally coordinated and the flow is smooth and flawless, the band leader is praised to the heavens.
The music lovers would think all is well and no player in the band is on a wrong key. No. It has never been so smooth. Not even with the likes of late Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti of blessed memory and yes, with the king of world beats, King Sunny Ade.
The coordination, rhythm, percussion, symphony and melody were all we hear and love. I wouldn’t bother you with the inside stories of the shenanigans, indiscipline, unprofessionalism and bad-blood that rocked these great bands on different occasions.
Juxtapose the happenings in those great musical bands to the happenstances rocking Nigeria Basketball Federation and the basketball community at large. What are the similarities, you might want to ask.
Like in other sports, particularly football, we don’t often times notice or seem to care about the efforts that gave the smooth and exciting melodies (victories). The newly found love and fervour for basketball in Nigeria, was made possible by the selfless and concerted efforts of the board of NBBF led by its amiable president, Engr. Ahmadu Musa Kida.
A chronicle of past and recent events, actions and inactions in the NBBF can only be described as a symphony of truth that should encourage and inspire younger generation of athletes and administrators, and of course, lies, that are aimed at destroying and shredding the good pages in the history books, to satisfy some whimsical, egocentric, corrupt and greedy supposedly stakeholders.
The truth was that Musa Kida and his board were duly elected, like other federations, in Abuja in an election supervised by the sports ministry, ratified and recognized by NOC and FIBA.
Lie, was that a parallel election by a congress led by Tijani Umar that supposedly gave him a third tenure was recognized by the government and FIBA.
Truth was that when Kida came on board with his board, they faced torrid times, as they weren’t handed the paraphernalia of office and of course, monies generated and kept by the leaders of the TJ Umar’s board.
To execute some of its lofty and impactcul projects, Kida dug deep to his personal funds, resources and utilized his goodwill to keep NBBF going, and of course, get our national teams to participate in continental and global championships.
Like a professional and thorough-bred band leader, he ensured we enjoyed the smooth flow of music, whilst secretly reeking in emotional and financial pains.
It is a lie, to say, Kida and his board received the necessary supports of the ministry, when, and as at, when due. It is a lie, also to say, Kida didn’t help the growth and development of local basketballers and the game. Because the NBBF could not organise the Men’s Premier league in more than 3 years during his tenure.
It is true, that the Men’s Premier Basketball League wasn’t held in over 3 years. The truth is that TJ Umar and some of his co-travellers took Kida’s NBBF to court to stop it from organising the league, with claims that they had the sole rights to host the league. Yes, that was ostensibly to satisfy their new paymasters, Econet, owners of Kwese TV.
They made valiant and selfish efforts to stunt the careers of thousands of Nigerian youths and kill the game in the country, for over 3 years, until the law courts threw out the case in favour of Kida and his board.
It is true that the favourable court judgement gave Kida and his board a leeway to go ahead and organise the Men’s Premier Basketball league that eventually produced teams for the final 8.
It is also true that Kida became the Caretaker Chairman of the NBBF, after his board was dissolved and yet, was unfazed as he continued to lead and rightfully organized a well-attended extra-ordinary congress, Abuja. The congress had top sports ministry officials, the NOC and stakeholders in attendance.
It is a lie that some stakeholders were denied entry to the congress or harrassed by security personnel. It is a lie, too, that some basketballers and supposedly stakeholders were called thugs by Kida.
It is true that plans were made and had reached advanced stages, with FIBA officials ready to storm Benin city, Nigeria, for NBBF’s elective congress. It is true, that the extra-ordinary congress had ratified the appointment of some distinguished Nigerian sports administrators into the electoral and appeals committees.
Bigger lies starting coming with accusing fingers wrongly pointed at Musa Kida by members of D’Tigress who alleged embezzlement of the funds donated to the team, as well as, non-payment of their allowances.
It is true that the ladies were being owed. It is also true that the monies were lodged with the Central Bank by the sports ministry. It is true, that the sports ministry in a public statement accepted its faults in the failure to disbursed the monies to D’Tigress, as at when due.