Nasarawa State Governor, Engr. Abdullahi Audu Sule, represented by his Deputy, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, today, Saturday, received the 2020 National Sports Festival’s Torch of Unity in Lafia ahead of the 20th Edition of the Festival to be hosted by Edo State next month.
Nasarawa state ministry of Youth and Sports Development public relations officer,Eche Amos disclosed this yesterday,at the state headquarters.
According to the statement, Team Nasarawa’s athletes’ captain, Beauty Timothy, received the Torch at the entrance gate in Lafia from the North Central Zonal Coordinator of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports who doubles as leader of delegation, Saka Akeem.
Beauty Timothy moved with the Torch to the junction of Lafia City Stadium where she handed it over to the State’s Director of Sports, Salihu Jubrin Barrie who proceeded with the Torch to the Lafia City Stadium where he passed it over to the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Hon. Othman Bala Adam, who warmly welcomed the delegation before passing it over to the Zonal Coordinator, Saka Akeem, who finally handed the Torch to the Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe.
Prior to handing over the Torch to the Deputy Governor, the Zonal Coordinator, Saka Akeem, described Nasarawa as a peaceful and sport-loving State.
“I want to thank you most sincerely, Your Excellency, and Nasarawa State for receiving us and for your hospitality.
“Nasarawa is a peaceful and sports-loving state with wonderful people.
“And we hope by receiving this Torch which symbolizes unity, peace, social cohesion, growth and development, you have equally received the message of the festival and ready to contribute your quota to national development”, he remarked.
Delivering the message of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, thanked the delegation and organizers of the National Sports Festival and the host State, Edo, assuring that Nasarawa State would be fully represented at the Events in Edo.
“On behalf of the Government and citizens of Nasarawa State, may I commend the Federal Ministry Of Youth and Sports headed by a visionary, Mr. Sunday Dare, Honourable Minister, and his powerful team for the great job you are doing in keeping our youth population busy and engaging them in meaningful venture, which will, no doubts, help to mitigate or curb social vices in the society”, he began.
The Governor went on to highlight some of the state’s recent achievements in sports both within and outside Nigeria.
“As the home of sports and tourism, Nasarawa State has achieved so much and impacted enormously in the sports sector in Nigeria and will keep doing so.
“We have produced some of the best regional, national and global sportsmen and women for podium height.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, it may interest you to note that the likes of Christabel Daniel, Bridget Gata, Chioma Ani, Beauty Timothy, Favour Aboki and Maryam Umar won various medals for Nasarawa State at national and international Karate Championships last year.
“In Taekwondo, Iho Louisa Leady won Silver medal during the Best-of-the-Best Tournament in Abuja.
“Also, at the Governor Wike Ezenwo Wrestling Championship held in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, the duo of Tuleram Mamma and Albert Mbodi won Bronze Medals for Team Nasarawa, while Beauty Timothy won one Bronze Medal at the 7th African Wushu Kung-Fu Championship held in Dakar, Senegal.
“Mustapha Mohammed won one Bronze Medal at the Para-Power(Aisha Muhammadu Buhari)Championship held in Abuja, even as both Idris Nuhu and Zubairu Haruna won Silver and Bronze Medal respectively at the Plateau State Governor’s Golf Cup.
“In football, our female team, Nasarawa Amazons, lifted the Female Aiteo Federation Cup after beating Rivers Angels in the final in Kaduna last year. Also, our male soccer team, Nasarawa United, defeated El-Kanemi Warriors to win the 3rd Edition of the Ahlan Preseason Tournament Cup in kano, to mention, but a few of our achievements in sports.
“Nasarawa State has played host to many successful state -wide, regional and national sports championships, with the most recent being the Federation of Public Service Games, FEPSGA, held here last year, with over five thousand participants.”
Governor Sule added that in line with his administration’s policy on youth empowerment and development, he is working assiduously to transform sports in the state.
“This administration has prioritised sports and is fastly using it as a source of revenue generation and job creation for the wonderful and talented youth, sports men and women we have across the state.”
He assured organizers of the Festival of Team Nasarawa’s participation.
“Kindly convey our assurances to the Minister and the host of the Festival, Edo State, that Nasarawa State will participate in the events with a large contingent and is aiming to win it.”
The Festival Torch will now move to the North-East, starting from Bauchi State.
The 20th National Sports Festival, which is a biennial event, will commence from 22nd March and end on 1st April, 2020, in 22 venues in Edo State, with the 36 States of the Federation, including FCT, Abuja, all taking part.
Compiled by Egbe Buduzhi
For EKPEYE TV © 2020