Basketball stakeholders in Nigeria have expressed shock over Thursday’s suspension of basketball in the country, describing the action as an ‘overkill.’
Respondents who spoke on Saturday while reacting to the news of the suspension noted that the decision will only worsen the state of basketball in the country.
According to Coach Alabi Adelanwa, who is also one of the pioneer members of basketball in Nigeria, “The decision by the federal government to suspend basketball in Nigeria is uncalled for. What leadership crisis are they referring to when the world basketball ruling body had ratified the election of the Nigeria Basketball Federation in Benin?
“To say there is a leadership crisis is just in their imagination and the decision to suspend basketball will further worsen an already bad situation due to the inaction of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Adelanwa who is also the first FIBA licensed referee in Nigeria lamented the actions of the government, explaining, “so, what do you tell the players that have laboured to qualify for the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup in Australia or even the men’s national team that in the FIBA World Cup qualifiers due next month, are they not carrying Nigerian passports. We need to think properly before making decisions. Nigeria as a member of the Olympic charter, decisions are not just taken for the sake of it,” the first FIBA licensed referee in Nigeria stated.
Similarly, Professor Adamu Ahmed, a former member of the NBBF in his reaction noted that it’s a shame that the situation in basketball has degenerated to attract such a decision by the government.
He said: “Some level of maturity should have come to play in all of this. I don’t understand why we have allowed it to reach this level after all the efforts by former President of the NBBF, Gyang Buba who ensured that everyone was included for peace to reign.”
Coach Mike Akuboh, a scout with the Toronto Raptors says that the Sports Ministry has just exercised its power but notes that like everything, this will pass.
“The tenure of those running the Sports Ministry will come to an end and new policies. It’s unfortunate that adults who should lead us have continually acted like kids. The result of this action is a calculated attempt to further kill the game. There’s nothing more to say than that those who see themselves as gods will not be relevant as we have seen with many big players in Nigeria politics,” he noted.