Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, today, Thursday, 4th October, 2018, received the Torch of Unity of the 19th National Sports Festival tagged, “ASO UNITY GAMES, 2018.
Speaking at the Lafia City stadium, Lafia, Al-Makura explained that receiving the Torch was a demonstration of the respect the state has for the festival, and that it will afford the state the opportunity to showcase what it has been doing in the last seven years towards sports development.
Al-Makura, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary and acting Commissioner, Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, explained that the state will not only participate in the FCT, Abuja festival but will put up a good performance because it is committed to exhibiting excellence in sports and sporting competitions.
The governor maintained that the state will continue to train its sports men and women as well as provide them with the best environment to excel.
Governor Al-Makura said the Torch of Unity is necessary at the national level because the nation needs unity and added that “may we continue as a united and peace-loving nation, and may we , through sports, achieve unity which has evaded the nation for sometime now”
He praised the timely and proactive intervention of the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung and Greenfields, the official sponsors of the 2018 Festival, for reviving the National Sports Festival after no state was willing to host it since
2012 when Lagos hosted it last.
The governor noted that the state holds the Sports Festival in high esteem and that Nasarawa State is looking at hosting it in the future.
He added that the state is committed and will ensure it displays excellent performance at the Festival later in the year.
The North-Central Zonal Sport Coordinator, Dr. Patrick Uwagbale, who led a team comprising the Zonal Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and National Sports Festival Marketing & Management Company Limited for the National Sports Festival, said the Torch which arrived Nasarawa as the first state, was lit by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, October 1, 2018, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, and symbolized the commencement of the 2018 Sports Festival to be hosted by FCT, Abuja, from December 6th to 16th, 2018, featuring over ten thousand athletes and coaches, competing in 37 sports.
The Torch of Unity was moved within the stadium and was handed to Alhaji Usman Okposhi , Permanent Secretary of the Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, who represented Governor Tanko Umaru Al-Makura.
The festival Torch of Unity will move round the 36 States’ capitals of the Federation before climaxing in Abuja on 6th December, 2018.
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