Basketball: Under Pressure Sports Ministry Backtracks On 2-Year Ban, Now To Work With Kida’s NBBF
BY ANI EMMANUEL CHIDI
Fear of what may become the fate of Nigeria after the self imposed two years banned from international basketball events might have forced the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to reverse self to lift the ban as announced via a press statement early on Thursday.
While the ban had forced the FIBA, the world governing body of basketball, to replace Nigeria’s slot with Mali in the schedules of the forthcoming Women’s World Cup in Australia, and apparently sensing that more woes await the country due to the ill-advised ban, and more importantly, under the pressure of the outcry from concerned stakeholders, the Ministry of Sports was forced to backtrack on the ban and also to work with Musa Kida-led board of Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF), a board recognised by the FIBA.
The press statement from the Ministry of Sports is presented below:
Nigeria: Developments around Basketball
Following the Presidential approval withdrawing Nigeria from International Basket ball competitions for 2 years, a number of significant developments have occurred, the most significant being the following:
- Intervention by concerned stakeholders, former Nigerian international basket ball players and well meaning Nigerians to seek for solutions to the issues that triggered the decision.
2.The Video conference meeting between the top hierarchy of FIBA and the Minister of Youth and Sports which produced common understanding in certain general areas, concluding with a commitment by both FIBA and Nigeria to explore and collaborate on enhancing relationships, development of basketball and reaffirming mutual respect for the laws and constitution of Nigeria as a sovereign state, and also FIBA.
3.A letter of Appeal from the NBBF Board signed by Musa Kidda and dated June 17th, 2022 addressed to the Hon. Minister of Youth and Sports Development Chief Sunday Dare. The letter of Appeal among other things apologized to Mr. President and the Minister over the embarrassment the developments around basket ball and the conduct of some stakeholders has brought upon Nigeria. 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 basket ball competitions. 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 basket ball family at home and abroad, and a commitment to work with the Ministry in the governance and development of basket ball among other things. Above all, the compliance of NBBF to the issues at stake made this possible.
Flowing from the above and upon a review, the FMYSD approached Mr. President and placed these developments before him. President Muhammadu Buhar, 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, resolution of the issues which precipitated the withdrawal in the first place has approved the return of Nigeria to international basket ball 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. There was first a country before any organization or federation that bears the Nigerian name, colours and flag in representing Nigeria.
Secondly, that all those that lead government organizations,and in this case our federations, hold such positions in trust for the Government and people of Nigeria under the direct supervision of the Minister of Youth and Sports. The President has directed the Ministry of Youth and Sports ensure the speedy implementation of the undertakings by NBBF which formed a major basis of his reversal. The Ministry is to report back to Mr. President on progress.
Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Abuja.