K-Delta female basketball owner, Abraham Samukai is unhappy with the ‘deceptive influence’ being used in resolving the leadership crisis in the Liberia Basketball Association, he told the Daily Observer in an interview yesterday in Monrovia.
At the June 3 final resolution meeting held at the Ministry of Youth & Sports, the current administration and aggrieved basketball stakeholders agreed on seven counts.
The seventh count stated that the embattled president Rufus Anderson leadership shall remain the legitimate body to lead the process for the organization of a congress by the weekend of August 7.
Prior to this arrangement, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, unable to resolve the conflict had sought the intervention of FIBA Africa, the continental body supervising basketball in Africa.
FIBA Africa accepted the invitation but after several months later, contacted the Ministry of Youth & Sports to find out if something had been done.
AFIBA Africa wrote: “Is there a federation on the ground? Or is it a caretaker committee? Is the Ministry of Sports running the federation?”
The second recommendation to the Ministry of Youth & Sports from AFIBA Africa said: “What your ministry can do is to hold an election or set up a caretaker committee and write to AFIBA Africa and the Zone immediately….”
Samukai told the Daily Observer that “The ministry did not make us aware of the suggestions from AFIBA Africa when we held the final meeting on Wednesday, June 3.”
And that’s why he is angry. “I hate such deceit against our determination to resolve a conflict that has held back our basketball development,” he said.
Since aggrieved stakeholders are not happy with Rufus Anderson’s leadership, and since his administration has ended, he said the ministry should not have withheld the information advanced by AFBA Africa which could have allowed the aggrieved a chance to accept the lesser of the two evils, recommendations.
The Anderson administration has been accused of financial impropriety, following the hosting of a West Africa basketball tournament in Monrovia in which U$15,000 was unaccounted for, and questions were also raised on the expenditure of U$70,000 provided by the Liberian government.
“If the ministry is interested in how public funds are used,” Samukai said, “it could have helped resolve the conflict by accepting the aggrieved stakeholders’ position for an interim administration.”
He asked: “Why did the ministry keep the suggestions from the highest body that it has sought assistance to resolve the crisis from the stakeholders who had sought an interim leadership?”
This is where he thinks the Ministry of Youth & Sports is playing a cat and mouse game and an element of deception has crept in to frustrate the best means of resolving a conflict that has bogged down all basketball activities.
And while the crisis is yet to be resolved, the Ministry of Youth & Sports, though has banned all basketball activities, provided U$11,500 and Ld56,000 to the administration that had been unable to provide proper accountability to the previous U85,000 for a trip to Nigeria recently.
Samukai said, “It means that documents for the forthcoming congress must include the expenditure of the recent funds for the Nigeria trip.”
And may be, afterwards, Samukai’s angry could be pacified, for he told this reporter that “basketball made me who I am and I have the passion to give back to society.”
Youth & Sports sources told the Daily Observer that the ministry is not neglecting its responsibility in resolving the leadership crisis.
“I cannot comment on whether information was kept away from the contending parties,” a source said, “it is best we resolve the conflict and then seek to do what is right,” and hoped that Samukai could be pacified with that.