The Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has inaugurated the Reconciliatory Committee set up to resolve the lingering crises within Nigerian basketball.
Basketball in Nigeria is going through torrid times with bitter bickerings and leadership tussles threatening to ground the sport.
Dare, while inaugurating the committee virtually on Friday, tasked them to tackle the crises head on and hit the ground running.
His words: “There can be no development without unity. The basketball family must be kept united for the game to grow and develop in our country.”We can no longer fold our hands and act unconcerned as the crises seep into public space and things go awry.”
The Sports Minister also reiterated that the Federal Government are the legitimate owners of all the basketball national teams and the responsibility for the development of the game is vested in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
He added that Nigeria will be involved in two important assignments later this month, the FIBA World Cup qualifiers for D’Tigers, the men’s national team, and the Basketball Africa League (BAL)for the champions of the men’s domestic league.
The Minister said it is time for national interest to override all other interests.
In his own remarks, the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Ismaila Abubakar charged the committee to justify the confidence reposed in them and work hard to ensure harmony returns to the basketball family.
Abubakar told the committee to draw up recommendations that will calm frayed nerves and shift everybody’s attention to the strengthening of the game in Nigeria.
Responding to the Minister and the Permanent Secretary, the chairman of the Reconciliatory Committee, Mr. Seyilayo Ojo promised that the committee will work out of altruism, integrity and patriotism.
He said their allegiance will be to the country and her constitution, assuring they will be focused on the issues and not on persons.
According to Ojo, who is a dispute resolution expert, “the committee will work towards producing a document and putting together recommendations that will help, not just basketball but other sports that may be in dispute.”
The Reconciliatory Committee has a two week mandate but it could be extended if there are justifiable reasons for it.
The other members of the committee are Abba Abdullahi Yola(vice chairman), Babs Ogunade, Khaleeh Muktar, Ikeddy Isiguzo, Niyi Alebiosu and Dr Toyin Aluko (Secretary).