The federal government has rescinded its decision to suspend Nigeria’s basketball teams from all international competitions.
President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the suspension of international basketball for two years following years of a protracted crisis in the Nigeria Basketball Federation, NBBF.
FIBA had as a result of the FG’s ban, replaced the D’Tigress with Mali ahead of the FIBA Women’s World Cup to be held later in the year.
However, Ismaila Abubakar, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, disclosed at a news conference in Abuja on Thursday that the lifting of the ban is based on a letter of appeal from the NBBF, signed by Musa Kida.
Abubakar said in a statement after the briefing: “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 endeavours 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 has 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.
“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.”
He explained that the “appeal letter also critically gave some key undertakings: to immediately set in motion the process of status 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.”
He said President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the ministry to ensure the implementation of the undertakings by the NBBF and report back to him on progress.