The Nigerian Ministry of Youth and Sports, on Thursday, has made a U-turn on its decision to exclude Scrabble from the forthcoming National Sports Festival, Abuja 2018.
This development follows efforts at reinstating the sport by several officials of the game and enthusiasts with the World English Scrabble Players Association, WESPA, writing for a reversal.
Protest and solidarity messages were also publicised through the media and circulars.
Most notable of these is the ‘Sports On The Couch’ on KSTV with Ayo Akinfemisoye, the Lagos State Scrabble coach, published on Wednesday.
The discussion features intriguing revelations which triggered the tough stand of the ministry on Scrabble.
Following the reversal, KSTV, received a notable commendation from players and officials of the game, most notable of all, Mr Akinfemisoye and the first black world champion, Wellington Jighere.
Ayo: “Am so happy and deservedly too . They hitherto maliciously removed our scrabble from the sports to feature in the forthcoming National sports festival!
“We would Not have any of that ! No, we chorused!
“There were protests, agitations, hues and cries from all concerned quarters.
“Then, We channelled our grievances to the appropriate elements in the sports governing body by invoking the instrumentality of social media to our advantage.
“Thanks to Kanu Sports Television for identifying and partnering with us on this. And now, our scrabble is back in the National Sports Festival Abuja 2018.”
Wellington: “Scrabble has been reinstated in the forthcoming National Sports Festival. On behalf of the entire Scrabble community in Nigeria, I’d like to say a big THANKYOU to everyone who lent us their voices in the course of the #BringBackOurScrabble campaign.
“Special thanks to you, my friend, for the role you played in making this possible.”