Democracy Day: CDS basketball championship kicks off in Abuja

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

The First Edition of the Chief of Defence Staff Democracy Day Basketball Championship has kicked off on Sunday in Abuja with 14 teams.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 14 teams are from the military, paramilitary and civil organisations participating.

NAN reports that the event will feature more than 270 players while the grand finale will take place on June 12.

Declaring the event opened, the Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) Gen. Christopher Musa, said the event marked an important milestone in celebrating the spirit of athleticism and camaraderie within the armed forces, security services and civil organisations.

The CDS said that the championship would also showcase vibrant youth from 10 male and four female teams while featuring 40 veteran basketballers from across the country.

He said the objective was to promote Civil-Military Cooperation and Inter Agency collaboration, and also aimed at engaging the Nigerian Youth positively in furtherance to military’s non-kinetic approach to improving security throughout the country.

“By organising this competition, it is my hope that Basketballers from the military, paramilitary and the civil society including our veterans would continue to maintain a high level of mental alertness and physical fitness.

“The timing of the competition is not only apt but also key to building stronger bonds that resonates across the military and other parastatals of government,” he said.

The defence chief appreciated the teams, players, coaches, and organisers for their dedication in making the championship a reality.

He said that their commitment to excellence and sportsmanship had exemplified the values they hold dear in the nation.

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He, therefore, urged the participants to embody those values both on and off the court, inspiring others with courage and determination.

Musa also expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu, for his unflinching support to the growth and development of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

“Let this championship be a platform for building lasting friendships, fostering healthy competition, and showcasing the immense talent within our ranks,” he said.

The Chairman, Organising Committee of the Championship, retired Brig.-Gen. Aliyu Abdullahi, said the Basketball Championship was also aimed at engaging the youth positively in continuance with the non-kinetic approach, to improving security in the country.

Abdullahi said the championship would take place in two venues namely Monaliza Sports and Recreation Centre at Area 11 and at the Old Parade Ground.

“To the participating teams, I encourage you all to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and camaraderie in an effort to put in optimal performance toward the championship.

“For the officiating official, you are to be fair and professional in your tasks while officiating the event to ensure acceptable results,” Abdullahi said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Modupe Adeloye and Abiemwense Moru

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