Lalong preaches sport as instrument of national unity
Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, has advised Nigerians not to undermine sporting activities in the society, saying it is a powerful instrument of building peace and unity.
Lalong also said that sport could also be used as a weapon against religious and ethnic chauvinism in Nigeria.
Speaking on Saturday at the Chief of Defence Staff Peace/Unity Marathon and Football competition organised by Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in Jos, Lalong, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the State, Professor Danladi Atu, said, “we can use sports to get peace. We can use sports to eliminate religious and tribal bigotry in the land.”
He congratulated the military on their role in the society as agents of unity and peaceful co-existence while charging their sector commanders to be security conscious so that the laudable objectives of the Commander of the OPSH, who also doubles as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 3 Division, Major General Ibrahim Ali, will be achieved.
Lalong thanked the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, for sending a vibrant officer like Commander General Ali, who has left no stone unturned to ensure that peace is achieved.
Earlier in his remarks, Commander of OPSH, General Ali, who thanked God for witnessing the New Year, said the Chief of Defence Staff organised the football competition and peace and unity marathon through the OPSH, but physically carried out by the sector commanders, who are closer to the people at the grassroots.
Ali said the OPSH, which is permanently stationed in Jos as its headquarters, also comprises parts of Bauchi and Kaduna states, adding that the competition is aimed at solidifying the peace already achieved.
According to him, OPSH will continue to be free, fair, just and firm in all its activities. “Let one love keep us all together. We should be all our brothers’ keepers in all we do,” he added.
At the end of the competition, Barkin Ladi emerged first, followed by Riyom, while Shendam came third.
Different prizes, trophies and cash were presented to the three best teams, while consolation prizes were given to other competitors.