The Board of the Nigeria Basketball Federation has extended its gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for rescinding the Federal Government’s decision, through the Minister of Youth and Sport, Sunday Dare, to withdraw the national teams from international basketball.
In its immediate reaction, following the press conference presided over by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alh. Ismaila Abubakar, held on Thursday in Abuja to announce the decision, the NBBF board said it was heart-warming that the best interests of the players and stakeholders have prevailed.
Speaking through its President, Engr Ahmadu Musa Kida, the board said, “After the back and forth, I am quite glad to see that this decision is reached, and it is a major victory for basketball. This is what I truly will say, no victor and no vanquished.
“It gladdens our heart that the Federal Government has decided to return basketball to where it rightfully belongs.
“We recognize that some of the actions of the stakeholders and their effects are regrettable. Vital lessons have been learnt and stakeholders are now committed to close ranks in the overall interest of the game.
“There can be no viable grassroots development without international exposure. No country can be an island while every kid who takes up sports wants to play on the global stage and represent its fatherland, with the resultant huge economic benefit to the child that attains global recognition in the game.”
Kida also emphasized that the NBBF pledged, in line with its decision at its last meeting in Lagos, to set up a high-powered and all-inclusive committee to reconcile every genuine grievance amongst stakeholders.
“At our last board meeting, we resolved to put machinery in motion to bring every genuine stakeholder to the table. We have also resolved to maintain a very high level of respect for the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Sports, as we recognize their supervisory role in line with global laws governing sports federations.”
It stated that the reconciliatory move will herald the necessary constitutional amendments recommended by the stakeholders, through the FMYSD and others, as approved by the NBBF congress – the highest governing body of basketball in Nigeria.