Sport is a Veritable Tool For National Unity – President Buhari
Tukur Garba Arab, Benin City
Nigerian Government has described sport as one of the bonds that unites people despite numerous challenges bedeviling the country at the moment.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this while declaring open, the 20th National Sports Festival tag Edo (2020) at the Samuel Ogbumudia international stadium Benin City capital of Edo state South Southern Nigeria.
The President who was represented by the minister of sports and youth development Mr Sunday Dare, commended the athletes for their faith in the government to make the event happen.
“The national sports festival as you all know still remain the veritable tool for uniting our country, as well as bringing our young men and women intereact and compete.”
” It also provides the avenue to discover talents for various sports that will represent the country in the global sports arena,” he said.
President Buhari also thanked the government and people of Edo state for keeping their promise of hosting the festival despite challenges that led to series of postponement of the game which was supposed to have been held last year.
“This is indeed in consonant with the aspiration of the founding fathers such as General Yakubu Gowon, late Major General Henry Adebokwe, late Brigadier Samuel Ogbumudia and others who initiated and brought this event to lime light,” the President said.
The Edo state Governor Godwin Obaseki welcome the participants to Benin City saying hosting the game was a promise fulfilled despite challenges posed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“That we are holding the games today is a clear testimony to the indomitable Nigerian spirit and our determination to at every point in our history, rise above all the challenges that threatened our unity and survival.”
” The national sports festival has a very unique history which is deeply rooted in the sad experience of Nigerian civil war. The first edition was held to bring our different people together to compete and find purpose in the bond that binds us together as brothers and sisters, notwithstanding our difference ethnic origin, gender, religion and language”.
The opening ceremony of the 20th edition of the event, held at the ultramodern Samuel Ogbumudia stadium, was in grand style with performances by different cultural troubles showcasing the ancient cultural heritage of Nigerians.
The event was attended by representative of each participating state.