Taiwo- Obalonye, Abuja
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, flagged off the movement of the torch of unity for the 20th Na- tional Sports Festival (NSF), tagged Edo 2020.
The games is scheduled to commence from March 20, 2020.
Buhari called on private sector investors to join hands with the government in youth and sports development in the country.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to continue supporting and providing the enabling environment for the development of sports at all levels.
‘‘I am pleased to receive the National Sports Festival ‘Torch of Unity’. It is a symbolic representation of the Unity, Peace and Solidarity amongst Nigerians, especially the athletes and officials in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
‘‘Since the inception of the National Sports Festival in 1973, the Games have been a useful avenue for interaction, integration for our youth, sportsmen and women and a platform for states to showcase their best in sports.
‘‘It is for this reason that the Federal Government intervened to host the last edition of the Festival in the FCT in order to salvage the sports fi- esta from permanent closure.
‘‘I wish to commend the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the Federal Capital Territory for hosting the event in 2018,” he said.
He, therefore, invited sports lovers and enthusiasts to take advantage of the Adoption Campaign to be part of raising the banner of sports in Nigeria.
On the 2020 Olympics and Paralympic in Tokyo, Japan, scheduled for July 24 – August 9 and August 25 – September 6, 2020, respectively, he wished the country’s athletes the best of luck at the games, urging them to be good ambassadors.
In his remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare said with the flag off, the Torch of Unity was expected to move round the states and Federal Capital Territory before finally arriving Benin City on March 22, 2020, for the opening ceremony of the 20th Edition of the ‘‘Nigeria Olympics.’’
‘‘The Torch of Unity for the National Sports Festival carries with it the objectives of the festival itself, chief amongst which is to symbolise unity, peace, friendship, tolerance and hope among Nigerians.”