The Federal Government on Thursday rescinded its decision to withdraw Nigeria’s basketball teams from all international competitions following an appeal from the factional president of the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), Engr Musa Kida.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Ismaila Abubakar, made this known yesterday during a press conference in Abuja.
According to him, Kida in the letter of appeal among other things apologised to President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare over the embarrassment the developments around basketball and the conduct of some stakeholders has brought upon Nigeria.
According to him, the letter appealed to the Minister to use his good offices to approach President Buhari for the reversal of the 2-year withdrawal of Nigeria from international basketball competitions.
Abubakar said “The appeal letter also critically gave some key undertakings to immediately set in motion the process of statutes review or constitutional amendments from stakeholders as collated by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development; to set up a high powered team to reconcile all contending parties in the basketball family at home and abroad, and a commitment to work with the Ministry in the governance and development of basketball among other things and above all, the compliance of NBBF to the issues at stake made this possible.”
He also said intervention by concerned stakeholders, former Nigerian international basketball players and well-meaning Nigerians to seek solutions to the issues triggered the decision to lift the ban.
However, the minister cautioned the federation 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.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari in May approved the withdrawal of Nigeria from all international basketball competitions following the intractable leadership tussle in the NBBF.
The Minister of Sports who made the announcement had said the suspension would last for two years.
Despite yesterday’s U-turn, D’Tigress will still miss the 2023 World Cup since FIBA had replaced them with their arch-rivals Mali.