‘NBBF Are Chasing Shadows’


Col. Samuel Ahmedu is the President of Dodan Warriors Basketball Project and member  of FIBA-Africa Marketing committee. He spoke with WALE JOSEPH about the allegation  levelled against him by the country’s basketball governing body, Nigeria Basketball  Federation, NBBF over the age controversy involving Moses Godfrey, a member of the  National under 18 team to the just concluded  FIBA-Africa U-18 championship in  Rwanda

How will you react to the allegation that you exposed Moses Godfrey to FIBA-Africa  for being over aged at the last FIBA-Africa U-18 championship in Rwanda?
Let me start by saying that the Tijani Umar-led board of the NBBF is only chasing  shadows. If not they won’t be pointing an accusing finger at me. It’s high time we  allow people who run our sports realise that they are responsible to the country.  They should stop doing things that will tarnish the image of  the country. Was I the  one that also reported the Congolese player to FIBA?

You were in Kigali, Rwanda during the championship, what happened?
I was in Kigali as a match commissioner. I didn’t report any player to FIBA.  Information about the player was on the club (Royal Hoopers)’s official website and  when the issue was raised, I rallied round the Nigerian team to get the country out  of the mess, but we could not get the President and the Secretary General of the  federation for three days. Some people who were with the team can testify to this.  NBBF failed in its responsibility and now the officials are pointing an accusing  finger at me to cover up their shortcomings. I was surprised that the president,  Tijani Umar, could go to the press accusing me of what I did not do. Anyway, the  case is still under investigation.

Can you explain what informed this accusation?
The truth is that NBBF is being run like a personal investment of Umar. I still  don’t understand why the officials of NBBF think I was the one who reported the boy  when the information on his passport is different from what’s on the club’s website.  Immediately the incident happened, the NBBF didn’t respond for over three days.  Even, the leader of Nigerian delegation, Col. Ola Olutoye and the assistant  secretary that travelled with the team did not know what to do. My response was very  clear when the incident happened. FIBA-Africa has warned its affiliates to avoid age  cheat for years.

Why accuse the President of the federation that he is running the body as his  personal estate, when it’s the board that took the decision to probe you on the  allegation?
I know what I’m talking about. You can even investigate my claim. It’s Umar and  Malone that run the federation, other members are not being carried along. How many  of them were in Port Harcourt for the end of the season Final 8 Play-off ?

Why were you singled out then?
It’s in Nigeria that I see that when somebody is given a job to do and he fails,  instead of admitting failure, he will want to shift the blame to someone else. I was  not the one that put the information of the boy on his club’s website. I was not the  one that processed his passport. I made an effort to get the Team Manager of the  club to respond to the allegation on time to save the country from the  embarrassment. I was there as a match commissioner, who should not show support for  any country, even to my country. But I still went ahead to help out, only for the  NBBF to turn around and accuse me of wrong doing. We shall soon see who is guilty. I  will only implore the federation to come out with its findings so that Nigerians  will know who brought the country’s name into disrepute.

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