FG approves immediate return of Nigeria to international basketball
June 23, 2022
The Federal Government has reversed it’s ban on Nigeria’s basketball teams from all international competitions.
Abubakar, while announcing government’s decision in a statement, said President Muhammadu Buhari only approved the return with a note of caution to not only the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) but all other sports leaders.
“In securing this approval, of note is the caution that the laws of Nigeria cannot be subjugated to any other law, and every Nigerian entity must respect Nigerian laws and authority governing various sectors,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary said the failure to do this would attract sanctions, as it is with any constitutionally-bound sovereign nation.
“There is first a country before any organisation or federation that bears the Nigerian name, colours and flag in representing Nigeria,” he added.
Abubakar disclosed that, as a result of this, President Buhari has directed the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to ensure the speedy implementation of the undertakings by NBBF.
He said this was because the undertakings formed a major basis of the reversal of government’s decision.
The latest decision, he noted is based on a letter of appeal from the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), signed by Mister Musa Kida.
A letter of appeal from the Musa Kida-led NBBF board dated June 17 and addressed to the Minister of Youth and Sports Development then followed.
The letter signed by Kida, among other things, apologised to President Buhari and the Minister over the embarrassment the development around basketball and some stakeholders’ conduct have brought upon Nigeria.
The letter had appealed to the Minister to use his good offices to approach President Buhari for the reversal of the two-year withdrawal of Nigeria from international basketball competitions.
The appeal letter also critically gave some key undertakings.
These include: immediately setting in motion the process of status review or constitutional amendments from stakeholders as collated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
Another one is the setting up of a high-powered team to reconcile all contending parties in the basketball family at home and abroad.
There is also the commitment to work with the Ministry in the governance and development of basketball, among other things.
Following the compliance of NBBF to the issues at stake and upon a review, the Ministry approached President Buhari and placed these developments before him.
President Buhari then considered the appeal and approved the return of Nigeria to international basketball immediately.
“President Muhammadu Buhari, being one that is committed to youth development and desirous of ensuring that they are availed of all opportunities in sports and other endeavors considered the appeal and in the overriding spirit of national interest, love for our youth, and in order to avoid sending basket development into a long period of suspension when NBBF have now committed to the resolution of the issues which precipitated the withdrawal in the first place has approved the return of Nigeria to international basketball immediately,” Abubakar said in a statement after the briefing.
“In securing this approval, of note is the caution that the laws of Nigeria cannot be subjugated to any other law, and every Nigerian entity must respect Nigerian laws and authority governing various sectors. Failure to do this, as with any constitutionally bound sovereign nation will attract sanctions.”