Sahel Military Games: Science Minister, CDS Commend Athletes

By Martha Obi, Abuja.

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The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, and the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor have commended athletes that participated in the just concluded first CDS Organisation of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA) Sahel Military Games tagged, “Abuja 2021”,  for their sportsmanship.

According to Minister Onu, the event brought together members of the armed forces from different African countries with the goal of ensuring a united Africa.

“Nigeria has made history for successfully hosting the first Sahel Military Games,” Onu said.

The Minister attributed the myriad of conflicts and crises experienced in some parts of Africa as part of the challenges of nation building.

He urged African countries to leverage on sports to galvanize the much needed sustainable friendship, brotherhood and solidarity which are the ingredients required in building a united, peaceful and prosperous Continent.

The CDS, Gen Irabor, in his address, commended the athletes for their sportsmanship during the event saying that the main objective of the games in fostering unity, understanding and camaraderie within armed forces in Africa was achieved.

Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor

“The foundation of the Sahel games would foster future collaboration and cooperation among the armed forces in Africa,” General Irabor said.

This, he said, is in the area of using non-kinetic means to resolve the security challenges across the Continent.

The OSMA Secretary General, Captaine De Fregate Djendola Piere, commended Nigeria and her Armed Forces for demonstrating commendable friendship, fraternity and active solidarity through hosting of the games.

He also thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria for supporting and promoting military sports within Africa as well as the development of OSMA. Captaine de Fregate Piere also appreciated the CDS, Service Chiefs and other co-sponsors as well as partners for their support.

Meanwhile, Team Chad won the first position in the game of football, while Team Cameroon and Team Nigeria clinched the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.

In the 42.195km marathon race, Tanzania’s Michael Sangia and Jackhine Sakilu clinched the first positions in the male and female categories respectively, with returning time of 2 hours,19 minutes, 39 seconds and 2 hours, 43 hours, 35 seconds.

Also Tanzania’s Ezekiel Nigimba and Cameroun’s Foimi Justin clinched the 2nd and 3rd positions in the male race. Tanzania’s Sisilia Ginoka and Ossou Wakaye of Congo clinched the 2nd and 3rd positions in the female category.

The highlight of the closing ceremony were the invitational relay race where athletes from The Nigeria Police Force and other paramilitary organisations participated.

Medals were presented to the individual winners, and trophies to the participating countries.

The OSMA flag was officially handed over to the Chadian Chief Delegate, whose country will be hosting the next edition of the games in 2022.

Notable dignitaries that attended the sporting event include; Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, Chairman Nigerian Legion, Major General Abdulmalik Jubrin who represented the Minister of Defence. The Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Government Affairs, was also represented by his Chief of Staff.

Others were, Service Chiefs, heads of security agencies, members of the diplomatic corps, traditional rulers, captains of industry and senior military officers, among others.

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