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Peter Obi Reacts To D’Tigers’ Withdrawal From Afrobasket Qualifiers

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The 2023 presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, has lamented the withdrawal of Nigeria’s senior men’s national basketball team, D’Tigers, from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Afrobasket 2025 Qualifiers due to lack of funds.

In a statement issued via his official X handle on Friday, Obi said the report of D’Tigers’ withdrawal from the qualifiers is distressing and unfortunate.

Obi said sports has become one of the productive sectors of economic development and growth of nations and serves an integral part of moving the nation from consumption to production.

The former Anambra State Governor, therefore, called on the federal government to invest in sports as a means of gainful employment for the youths and and source of revenue for the nation.

He wrote: “I read, with dismay, the reports of the withdrawal of Nigeria’s senior men’s national basketball team, D’Tigers, from the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Afrobasket 2025 Qualifiers due to lack of funds. Unfortunately, such distressing reports can be emanating from our country at this time.

“Presently many countries are investing in sports as a means of gainful employment for their youths, a source of revenue for their government, and foreign exchange repatriation into their countries from those who are playing overseas, and Nigeria should be striving for a similar situation.

“Sports has become one of the productive sectors of economic development and growth of nations. It therefore remains an integral part of moving the nation from consumption to production.

“Instead of sponsoring political thugs who contribute to the breakdown of law and order in society, such funds should be channelled toward helping our youths discover and nourish their sporting skills.

“In a very diverse nation like Nigeria, where sports has not only remained a critical part of our unity but is also a huge source of youth empowerment, investment in sports remains critical. Therefore, attention should be paid to the needs of all sporting endeavours.”

Obi called on the Ministry of Sports and the Nigeria Basketball Federation (NBBF) to expedite actions and urgently resolve this issue to enable the team to participate in the competition.

He added: “I urge the Federal Government, the Federal Ministry Of Youth And Sports Development, and other relevant agencies to expedite actions and urgently resolve this issue to enable our national basketball team, D’Tigers, to participate in the competition and be motivated to bring us victory.”



Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.