Buhari urges athletes to unite Nigeria with sports
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked athletes in the country to give their best to promote unity at the flag off of the Ministry of Interior Games (MIGA), which began yesterday. He said the event was aimed at unearthing new talents for Team Nigeria.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium Kaduna, President Buhari, who was represented by the Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai, said that the MIGA Games would foster unity and harmony among the services under the ministry.
He said, “We welcome the services and the Ministry of Interior to Kaduna State, as we promise to do all possible to make the Games a success.
“As we prepare for the 2019 general elections in February and March, it is important that peace and unity be our watchword. We appreciate the efforts of the Ministry of Interior and other security agencies, they have done a lot to ensure peace in Kaduna State,” the President added.
The Minister of Interior, Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau, in his address, noted that the championship was in line with the commitment of President Buhari’s administration to promote harmony and collaboration among the services.
“The Games will enable the services to share ideas and relate warmly on issues around us to impact positively on internal security,” he said, adding that 1,784 athletes will compete for 218 gold, 218 silver and 242 bronze medals.
Athletes are expected to take part in 13 events that include athletics, badminton, basketball, football, handball, karate, squash, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, tug of war and volleyball.
The participating services include the Nigerian Police, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, the Nigeria Prisons Service, Federal Fire Service and Ministry of Interior.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp are the defending champions, having won the 2016 edition of the Games in Kaduna.