Buhari says army sports signals successes in ongoing operations
President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that the rejuvenation of the Nigerian Army Sports Festival (NAFEST) after seven years was a proof of successes being recorded by troops in operations across the country, reports the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Represented by the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, the president made the remark when he declared open the 16th NAFEST at the main bowl of the Abuja National Stadium.
The festival was last held in 2009 in Kaduna.
Buhari also said he was glad that in spite of their operational commitments across the country, the Army still deemed it necessary to organise the event.
He noted that from time “immemorial, the army had contributed immensely to sports development in the country.
“Many personnel, serving and retired have excelled and brought glory to the nation in the various sporting activities,’’ he said.
Buhari said the military profession demanded high standard of discipline and physical fitness, as well as mental and emotional balance for optimal performance.
According to him, this could only be achieved through regular participation in regular physical and sporting activities.
The president commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, for the initiative and his resilience at ensuring the revival of the basic rudiments of regimentation in the service.
“I, therefore, urge officers and soldiers of the Nigerian army to continue to accord priority to physical fitness and sports in their career development,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung, called on governments at all levels, industrialists and corporate organisations to invest in sports development.
Dalung said that more resources should be devoted to develop sports, which would in turn, develop the youth.
According to him, massive investment in sports development will no doubt ensure that the youths are productively engaged.
“This, however, will save the country from the cycle of committing huge resources to combat security challenges arising from failure to adequately invest in the youth.