The City Stars of Abuja defeated Nasarawa Solid Heats 52-43 in the men's final, securing victory in the 5th Andoma Basketball Tournament. Meanwhile, the Titans of Abuja emerged as champions in the Women's round-robin category, with Nasarawa Amazons finishing 4th overall.
In a well-attended event, Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State declared the close of the 5th edition of the Andoma Foundation Peace and Unity Basketball Tournament, 2023, in collaboration with the Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
The event, held at the Lafia Sports Arena (formerly known as Lafia City Hall), began on December 5th and witnessed a large audience, including high-profile dignitaries from various walks of life and representatives of the Nigeria Basketball Federation and its Zonal Representatives.
Governor Sule, represented by the State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Jafaru Ango, commended the organizers of the competition for joining forces with the state government in discovering hidden basketball potentials and nurturing them for greater exploits.
"This is a laudable project initiated by His Royal Highness, the Andoma of Doma, not just for the people of Nasarawa State but across Nigeria.
"The Royal Father has been using his throne to propagate unity and peaceful coexistence among people from different strata of society, and one of the tools he is using is basketball, a sport he played effectively during his youthful age and still engages in for health benefits and leisure today.
"This tournament will help give our youth a sense of direction in their career paths, create empowerment for them, and reduce restiveness in the land.
"Through the partnership of the Andoma Foundation with the State Government, we have been able to bring noteworthy basketball stakeholders from all over the world to Nasarawa State in recent past.
"This, too, has encouraged us to embark on deliberate action to improve our sporting infrastructures to meet the required standard for tournaments to be held here.
"Aside from hosting these sporting events here, our revenue drive is being improved upon as more investors continue to see the need to both visit and invest in Nasarawa State."
Governor Sule, while congratulating winners in the various categories of the competition, appreciated participants for ensuring a hitch-free tournament, emphasizing the need for youth to indulge in sporting activities to position them for life's challenges.
He urged participants to utilize the opportunity the recently concluded tournament offered by working harder to achieve their dreams of playing at the echelon of the sport, the National Basketball Association (NBA), in the United States of America.
He reiterated the commitment of the State Government to the promotion of sports and sportspeople by providing the necessary environments.
The Governor added that his administration is open to progressive-minded investors and individuals willing to partner with the State for the development of sports and related stakeholders.
Earlier, the sponsor of the competition and Paramount ruler of Doma, His Royal Highness, Alh. Dr. Ahmadu Aliyu Ogah Onawo OON, said the desire to contribute his quota to the development of basketball and empower the youth necessitated the staging of the tournament.
He thanked the State Government and partners for supporting the success of the tournament, pledging to continue working in tandem with relevant stakeholders to better improve on the annual event.
The Chairman of the Nasarawa State Basketball Association and Chairman, Andoma Unity and Peace Basketball Tournament, Ayuba Tijanni, said he was a fulfilled man to witness the climax of the competition after four days of non-stop action among 16 participating teams from across the country.
Nasarawa State legislator and Matron, Nasarawa State Basketball Association, Hon. Dr. Hajarat Danyaro, disclosed that the competition had witnessed tremendous improvement, especially in the areas of facilities and participation.
She clamored for more involvement of women in sport in the State to both keep them healthy and make a career out of it.
The only female lawmaker at the 7th Nasarawa State Assembly who chairs the House Committee on Women's Affairs and Social Development cum member of the Assembly's Standing Committee on Youth and Sports revealed that she would consider sponsoring a bill that would make it mandatory for women to participate in sporting activities in the State.
The Director, Andoma Foundation, Professor Maikano Ari, explained that the Andoma Basketball Competition had come of age and would keep breaking barriers to set new heights.
Ari stressed that the Foundation is planning to expand the scope of participation to involve international teams in subsequent editions.
Among dignitaries in attendance were Deputy Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Muhammad Adamu Oyanki; His Excellency, Musa Ilu, former Nigeria's Ambassador to Sweden, Finland and Norway; His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage (Rtd); Mr. Brijesh Nandal, General Manager, Olams Farms; Emir of Lafia; Directors, Shammah Lawrence(Sports) and Mustapha Isa(Administration and Supplies), both of the State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, and Traditional Rulers.
Highpoints of the event were presentations of Distinguished Award to Governor Abdullahi Sule, and other categories of awards, prizes, and souvenir kits to other personalities and stakeholders by Organizers of the tournament, unveiling