RE: We Don't Have A Basket Association Now

RE: We Don't Have A Basket Association Now

The article credited to Mr. George Shitta that we don't have the Taraba State basketball association now is mischievous as it is misleading. 

To start with, Mr. George is not a member of the said association and secondly, the Constitution of the TSBA does not recognize the existence of a vacuum in its leadership. His claim that we don't have a TSBA implicates several activities the same George Shitta has participated in the name of Taraba Basketball. In our response to a disclaimer, he signed noting that the public should disregard certain persons parading themselves to represent TSBA in a ZOOM conference where they aimed to engage the leadership of NBBF on the future of the sport little did we know that this harmless gesture would raise eyebrows of people who contribute little or nothing to the sport, the people who he mentioned in the article sent to Rescue mission have contributed immensely to the development of basketball in the state. Their efforts cannot be waved away.

To further put a background to the falsehood peddled by the director of Sports; on the 27th of January, it is on record that the same Director placed a call to the same Danjuma Goyo regarding purported litigation, he claimed Ahmadu Abba wanted to institute against the NBBF, the big questions are, why is Mr. George, who claimed that these people do not represent TSBA, meeting with them regarding TSBA/NBBF matters and the same meeting had Solomon Dennis, the state team captain as well as Mrs. Celina, the Secretary of the sports council and one other sports council staff. The Council and the same people who Mr. George went back to issue disclaimer against resolved collectively that TSBA should not be involved in any litigation regarding NBBF, same TSBA he claims is non-existent today.

Secondly, Mr. George, who is a civil servant and not a registered member of TSBA categorically informed the house that he is in support of one Musa Kida a factional aspirant as president of NBBF. He also said that his support was borne out of the fact that the Federal ministry of sports was meddling in NBBF election and the Government is not expected to be involved in Federation/Association matters.

The events that followed shocked the basketball world. On the 29th of January, an emergency meeting was held on the basketball court chaired by veteran coach Silas Jafta the agenda was to know the true position of TSBA and the NBBF election that was to be held following Monday, 31st of January, 2022. Both players and coaches were oblivious of any information regarding NBBF election since all correspondences were still passed through the interim chairman of TSBA after the expiration of the tenure of EXCO. Correspondences are also copied to the sports council. At the meeting, since the Interim Chairman was not available, a call was put through to Mr. George to request his presence to understand the status of the letters sent by NBBF. Mr. George told the house because he was on speaker that he was in Lagos for an event. When we further probed him to confirm if indeed he traveled for NBBF election in Edo, he denied it because he knew that he cannot act on behalf of TSBA, especially in a Matter of election. After all, he, himself, is a believer that Government official's participation in Sports Association dealings is a matter of interference. Late Monday 31st, pictures and video (we still have these materials in our archive) of the same Mr. George appeared on social media wearing Jukun Adire in line for accreditation at NBBF Factional election Edo. Mrs. Celina was also captured on a seat, as a delegate. A third person, who we understand is a highly placed government official was also in Edo, with time, his identity will be exposed for the world to know the sinister plans these people had against Basketball in the state.

We are also aware that the desperate Factional Chairman did an all-expense paid trip for the trio of government officials in an election that concerns a simple Association election, I wonder if there's any benefit attached to this desperate commitment since they could not return from such an election with a common ball for the players training courtesy of their Factional NBBF president, it's obvious they don't have Basketball at heart. I am sure if the three 'representatives are asked to name five basketballers in Taraba State they won't be able to mention even one. They do not participate in any Basketball activity nor do they consciously contribute to the development of the sport or even encourage its benefactors and players.

For the benefit of the doubt, neither NBBF of FIBA have contributed to Basketball development in the state, all we see every year are desperate Basketball politicians and arm Chair basketballers, who despite the desperation have not deemed it fit to engage players and coaches across the states, they prefer to manipulate the process by buying off members of sports council to ensure the association is suppressed to have a smooth sail in NBBF election.

The same people Mr. George issued a disclaimer against were the only association that officially congratulated him when he was appointed as sports director. This same group has maintained the sports facility by providing lighting and simple things like balls and quite some sports merchandise.

For the benefit of the doubt, the Taraba Basketball association is a registered association with an existing membership structure and an Interim Management Committee. Consequently, we further attached our reply to the said disclaimer. This response gives strength and legitimacy to TSBA as currently constituted


"The President of NBBF has advised us not to respond to the recent public disclaimer on a proposed Zoom meeting with the new NBBF aimed at promoting the sport. However, we also feel the need to educate the public on the position of the law.

Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 provides as follows: Every person shall be entitled to assembly freely and associate with other persons, and in particular, he may form or belong to any political party, trade union, or any association for the protection of his interests.

It is also clear according to FIBA guidelines that Government, in this case, the Sports council, had no business getting involved in either NBBF or TSBA affairs

The TSBA as an institution was created to 'interact' with Government, not to be teleguided by anyone, especially in the Sports council.

Where George Shiita derived executive powers to direct the affairs of TSBA is unknown to law

Taraba State Sports Council (TSSC) is a Government agency. We advise as follows

1. Mr. George Shitta should play according to the rules to avoid generating unnecessary litigations against the State Government. TSBA is not an agency of Government nor is its leadership regulated by the government

2. We advise that Mr. George Shitta should be an asset and not a liability to the government

3. That Mr. George Shitta should withdraw the purported disclaimer and he should be guided by the Ministry of Justice before going to the press and/or publishing any document that tends to invoke avoidable litigation against the State Government"

The action of the purported disclaimer can agitate members of TSBA to go to court to interpret whether or not Government can interfere in the affairs of TSBA. Some of these litigations can incur unnecessary liabilities against the State government

H.E Gov Darius Ishaku has always supported sports development and we are confident that the government will support any conversation or engagement that will encourage sports development and capacity building.

TSBA and Basketball matters is an ongoing conversation, we will be happy to engage with the Sports Council on the role, we want the council to play in the affairs of TSBA

The zoom conference with Igoche Mark, NBBF president will proceed as planned. TSBA will engage NBBF"


If I were any of the three I would have at least pretended and bought one ball for the team to convince them that the candidate I support means well for Basketball. But because both the guys that organized the same election at Edo and their Representatives that went from Taraba don't know anything about Basketball or understand the game, they don't know what needs to be done to as much as sustain what's left of the destruction they collectively created.

Any individual that's interested in adding value,  membership, or contesting for a position regardless of your position should do the responsible thing and purchase a membership to become a member. TSBA is not for sale

Buhari Aliyu Saleh 

Sports Enthusiast and Member, TSBA

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