Benue State Indigenous Basketball Players Group has called for the immediate removal of the State Chairman, Benue Basketball Association, Col. Sam Ahmedu.
The group led by Musa Ibrahim, during a protest in Makurdi on Friday, alleged inordinate disposition of Col. Sam Ahmedu and his likelihood of betraying the Benue cause.
The group who marched to the office of the Secretary to the State Government, (SSG), bore placards with various inscription such as “Sam Ahmedu is anti-Benue basketball resign now”, “Say no to trading with our basketball”, “Sam Ahmedu, Our Mumu Don Do”, among others.
In a protest letter read at the office of the SSG, the group said “We, members of the Benue State Indigenous Basketball Players Group across the 36 States of the Federal Republic of Nigeria today have marched out in open defiance of the leadership of the Benue State Basketball Association led by Mr. Sam Ahmedu.
“We today make bold to register our displeasure against Mr. Sam Ahmedu’s exploits and to bring to your knowledge his malevolent, conceivable desire to shortchange Benue State at the National Board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF).
“As you may have become aware, soon elections into the National Board of the Nigeria
Basketball Federation will take place. It is among the Zonal Representatives elected into the Board that the President of the Board will emerge.
“This implies that, one has to, first, be voted into the Board as a representative of his geopolitical zone before he can be eligible to contest for the position of President of the National Board.
“We have promising, prominent,
competent and outstanding citizens of our dear beloved state vying to emerge North -Central representative at the Board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation.
“Sadly and shamefully, the Chairman of the Benue State Basketball Association, Col. Sam Ahmedu who by virtue of his position is an automatic delegate at the election has since pitched tent with the candidate of Plateau State and has been according him all the necessary support to emerge victorious as North Central Representative,” the group representative said.
They described Mr. Ahmedu’s behaviour as not only unpatriotic but unreasonable, unjustifiable, callous, malicious, malignant and a deliberate attempt to undermine the sensibility of basketball players, supporters and the government and entire people of Benue State.
“This self seeking drive exhibited by Mr. Ahemdu is clearly anchored on his selfish desire to protect his lone interest at the National Federation where he has been working closely with the immediate past President of the Board, Mr. Musa Kida whose maladministration has become a subject of public media outcry calling for his removal, probe and prosecution for diversion of public funds, leadership ineptitude and gross breach of public trust.”
The group explained that the import of a Benue State indigene emerging the North Central representative at the board is the first step to having a Benue State
President of the board.
“In view of the foregoing, it is the collective submission, wish and aspiration of every basketball loving man, woman and child of Benue State origin that Sam Ahmedu be made to immediately resign his chairmanship of the Benue State Basketball Association or the entire leadership be immediately dissolved in the collective interest of the State.
“We cannot afford to hold a traitor close at this critical moment when we struggle for our right to self determination and recognition at the national front. Sir, he should be shown the way out and we urge Governor Samuel Ortom to so hold”, the group said.
Secretary to the State Government, SSG Prof. Anthony Ijohor who was represented by Senior Assistant to the Governor in the office of the SSG, on Special Duties, Mr. Samuel Zege promised to intimate his boss of their grievances, assuring that it will be addressed.
When contacted, the State Chairman, Benue Basketball Association, Col. Sam Ahmedu, said, “I heard about that protest. People are free to protest. First, I did not lock any facility. I’m not in charge. The Benue Basketball court belongs to the Benue state sports council.
“I don’t know what they mean by my high handedness. I have been chairman since 2017 and no such thing as has been reported. They have not asked for anything that we have not done. We always meet their aspirations.
“We have trained our coaches and our referees and for anyone to talk of high handedness is not true. It is time for politics, you will hear a lot of things. To say I am not on ground is funny. I have been an effective chairman and I don’t need to be on ground in Makurdi to be chairman.”
He therefore fingered a former chairman among others to be behind the protest saying “these are sponsored people and I’m not short changing Benue. I will continue to do my best for the state.”