October 22, (THEWILL) – The compensation conflict between the victorious D’Tigress and the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) is far from over, with the aggrieved players rejecting any partial payment of allowances and bonuses owed them.
On Arise TV yesterday, some of the D’Tigress stated that they demand that the $230,000 (N95m) owed them since 2018 be paid in one lump sum, while also reiterating their threat to boycott the upcoming World Cup qualifiers if their demands are not met.
“We have made it clear that we will not be collecting partial payment. We are still very much open as a team to receive the Presidential reception at Aso Rock. The allowances owed since 2018 involves others who are not part of the team now. It won’t be fair for us to receive this year’s allowances and leave out 2018, 2019,” Adaora Elonu, D’Tigress forward said.
D’Tigress Guard Ezinne Kalu urged the Sports Ministry to hold Musa Kida, the former president of the NBBF, accountable: “We want the ministry to hold Kida accountable to pay us. We are being taken advantage of. We are not getting the support we need from those owing us.”
Contrary to allegations attributed to Col. Sam Ahmedu (retd.), the President of FIBA Africa Zone 3 and a member of the NBBF board, the team also denied being used as political pawns.
“We can’t control what people will think. But no one is controlling our team. When we protested in the past, no one said we were approached but now the cameras and eyes are on us for coming out, there are now allegations of being approached. Our team has always been together as the money has accumulated so much,” said Atonye Nyingifa D’Tigress power forward.
Nevertheless, the House Committee on Sports, chaired by Hon. Olumide Osoba, has summoned former NBBF president Engineer Musa Kida to appear before the committee within two weeks to answer questions about money owed to the senior national basketball teams.
The summons came after Sunday Dare, the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, testified before the committee about D’Tigress allowances, NBBF payments, and doping allegations against some Team Nigeria athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.