Deal Reached for B’Ball Elections Saturday

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Last minute deal was reached yesterday afternoon by officials at the Ministry of Youth & Sports and the LNOC to ensure congress and elections of new officials to run the Liberia Basketball Federation are held this weekend.

Though there are still sticky issues to be settled, a Youth and Sports’ source told the Daily Observer that stakeholders and LBF administration have agreed to proceed to the General Assembly, (Congress), when the venue is identified.

“As far as we are concerned,” said Flames’ president Calvin Diggs, “we’ll proceed to the General Assembly this weekend when the venue is known.” This suggests that Rufus Anderson’s leadership will have to communicate the venue of the assembly to stakeholders.

The last minute deal, brokered by ministry and LNOC officials, came after stakeholders early yesterday morning sealed up the two entrances to the Sports Commission.

“I saw a welder sealing up the two doors,” admitted a witness who said he enjoyed the process, but after the compromise held at the ministry, the doors were re-opened.

He said there were several players who held placards, denouncing outgoing president Rufus Anderson, who is seeking re-election.

Stakeholders’ contention was the delay by the Anderson administration to submit congress documents that could have afforded them, at least two weeks to peruse them, with their suggestions, according to previous agreement reached on January 27th.

Even though aggrieved stakeholders have relented their opposition and will be streaking to congress, it is likely that interesting and dramatic issues will surface, according a long time observer of elections that have gone under similar tension.

LNOC President Phillibert Brown told the Daily Observer that he was sure some compromises could be reached.

The LNOC is one of the highest financial contributors to sports, and the LBF has enjoyed its patronage, over the years.

At the same time, not much is known about any of the candidates that aggrieved stakeholders will be comfortable with to contest against Anderson but a name that has emerged is Abraham Samukai, who seems to enjoy their confidence.

“That’s why Anderson tried to see if he could be denied the chance to run for the elections,” noted a source from Anderson’s camp. But Samukai was cleared to run, following consultations by ministry officials that stated that all clubs with good standing with the federation are eligible to send candidates.

But the stickiest issue is whether 14 3rd division clubs that never participated in the LBF league would be allowed to participate in the elections to increase Anderson’s votes.

As it stands now, Rufus Anderson should be counting his days as president of the LBF chance but whether he will receive the cooperation of many of his perceived supporters to vote him in his re-election bid, in the wake of reported financial improprieties, will indicate how badly opposing stakeholders have failed to do their homework.

“It will be interesting to see what happens at the assembly,” said a long time follower of the game.

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