Democracy Day: 270 players, 14 teams to feature in CDS Basketball Tournament

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

No fewer than 270 players with 40 veterans and 14 teams are set to feature in the maiden The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Democracy Day Basketball Championship in Abuja.

The Chairman, Organising Committee of the Championship, retired Brig.-Gen. Aliyu Abdullahi, made this known while briefing newsmen on the tournament on Tuesday in Abuja.

Abdullahi said the basketball tournament was being organised by the CDS, Gen. Christopher Musa to hold from June 9 to June 12 in demonstration of the military’s commitment to democracy.

He said the championship would feature both the male and female categories with 10 male and four female basketball teams drawn from within Abuja and contiguous states.

According to him, the objective of the basketball championship is in line with the CDS’ philosophy on the use of non-kinetic approach as a viable tool to peace and also by extension, national security.

“So as way of adding colour to the democracy day, it is an avenue to spice up activities of that day.

“This is going to be the first edition of the basketball championship and we hope that it is going to be a sustained one.

“To ensure that there was complete inclusiveness, we have members from the security agencies, people coming from the universities and academia.

“Similarly, we shall be inviting veterans who have competed at both national and state levels for this championship and have their own game played on the June 12.

“The whole essence is to have this very experienced basketball as mentorship for up and coming basket ballers.

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“We are hoping that somewhere along the line we see some of these young talents participate in both national and international arena,’’ he said.

Abdullahi added that the intent of the competition was to promote sportsmanship amongst youth cooperation and collaboration between security agencies and the civil populace.

This, according to him, is a way of promoting peace and national unity and integration as well as a way of engaging some of the youths within Abuja.

The Director of Sports, Defence Headquarters, AVM Abidemi Marquis, said the military had continued to encourage the development of sport, adding that all the services had individual sports teams.

He urged Nigerian youths who have sporting skills to join the military to be able to actualise their dreams, adding that military was opened to anyone during recruitment exercises.

According to him, the current defence chief believes in the application of soft power in addressing the national security challenges.

The President, Organisation of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA) and Global Vice President, International Military Sports Council (CISM), Maj.-Gen. Maikano Abdullahi, said the Nigerian military had continued to excel in sports globally.

He said that the membership and leadership of Nigeria in international military sports had attracted a lot of benefits to the country, especially the hosting of African Military Sports Tournaments and conference. (NAN) (


Edited by Abiemwense Moru

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