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Sports, driving force of Nigeria’s unity – Buhari; declares open 11th Police Games

President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari, Sunday, described sports as the driving force of the country’s unity and oneness.
The president spoke in Abuja at the opening of the 11th biennial Police Games at the main bowl of the National Stadium.
Represented by FCT Minister, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, Buhari said the country needed to encourage and develop the sports sector to ensure its existing unity was maintained.
The president noted that sports had become an integral area of the present administration.
Minister of Youth and Sports Solomon Dalung, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry Christian Ohaa, said that the government would encourage organisations in the development of sports at the grassroots.
Dalung urged participants to ensure that the games achieved its full potential of identifying and nurturing officer and men that would represent the country at international competitions.
“I want you to emulate the likes of Chioma Ajunwa Opara who won Nigeria’s first Olympic Gold medal and thelate Sunday Bada, who won a silver medal in the 4×400 metres relay at the Olympics,’’ Dalung said.
On his part, Solomon Arase, the Inspector General of Police said that the 11th biennial Police Games provided an opportunity for the police to discover world beaters in sports.
“The event has over the years placed Nigeria on the world sporting map and produced star athletes who have made Nigeria police and the nation proud.
“It should be noted that Nigeria’s ever first gold medalist at the Olympics is Chioma Ajunwa, a serving police officer who won the long jump event at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta USA.
“Other sporting heroes produced by the police and who have made our country proud include Samuel Peters, a former World Boxing Champion, Kikelomo Ajayi, a former Super Falcons Captain and many others.
“This Game reminds officers and men of the police the importance of keeping fit in order to be mentally and physically sound to meet the rigours of policing a nation like ours.
“It also builds and strengthens a healthy and professional friendship among all cadres of the force and among other sister security agencies within the country and West African sub-region,’’ Arase said.
The oath taking by competitors and officials, arrival of Games Mascot and hoisting of the Games flag were some of the activities that followed the event.
Other event that took place were march past by the 12 zonal commands of the police, calisthenics performance by pupils of the police children school as well as music performance by different cultural groups.
The women tug-of-war team was also introduced to the guests, while the lighting of the festival flame was done by notable police athletes among who is Kikelomo Ajayi, a former Super Falcons Captain.
Twenty-eight sports including Athletics, Badminton, football, Swimming, Boxing, Chess, Cycling and Taekwando will feature at the Games holding between March 19 and March 26.
The Police Games is part of activities marking the 2016 police week which ends on April 1.

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