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The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor has charged sports men and women of the Nigerian Armed Forces (AFN), selected to participate at the Sahel Military Games slated for 9 – 17 October 2021 in Abuja to ensure that they make the nation proud by winning laurels.
Addressing the athletes during the closing ceremony of the Armed Forces Inter-Service Competition held in Abuja, the CDS spurred those that will be selected for the 3 weeks camping to commit their energy, concentration, hearts and minds to the training in order to top the medals table at the Organization of Military Sport in Africa (OSMA) Sahel Games.
Gen Irabor, who was represented by the Chief of Defence Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Dahiru Sanda, also commended the athletes for high level of discipline and sportsmanship which won them laurels, thus leading to their selection for the Sahel games.
The Defence Chief remarked that the first OSMA Sahel Military Games for “Peace and Solidarity” is aimed at exploring the non-kinetic aspect of military operations to mitigate the war against insurgency and banditry ravaging some countries in the Sahel region.
He said as a combat force, the Nigerian military will continue to prioritize the mental and physical fitness and readiness of its personnel to defend the nation.
According to Gen Irabor, aside the modern weapon system, it is physically and mentally prepared personnel that will make the difference in any conflict.
The CDS reassured Nigerians of the commitment of the military in the executing of its Constitutional roles, and also meeting the statutory responsibility of protecting the nation’s territorial integrity. He then thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for supporting the operational engagements of the military which is yielding successes in recent months.
The Chief of Defence Training and Operations (CDTOPS), Major General Adeyemi Yekini earlier in his welcome address, said the Armed Forces Inter-Service competition was another landmark achievement under the current leadership of the AFN.
This feats, he said, has brought to the fore, the CDS strategy to promote and inculcate the core values of sporting activities, which are integrity, excellence and service delivery.
The CDTOPS further identified service efficiency and effectiveness, as well as fostering of espirit-de-corps, among the reason for hosting the Inter-Service Competition.
Speaking on preparation for the Sahel games, Gen Yekini, disclosed that a total of 189 athletes are expected to compete in 3 sporting events which are football, marathon and golf, according to him, the games would be decided on medal-scoring basis.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has won the first position at the Armed Forces Inter-Service competition, with a total of 19 medals, including 9 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze. Team Nigerian Navy came second by winning nine medals, including 3 gold, 1 silver and 5 bronze, while the Nigerian Air Force came third with 7 silver and 1 bronze.
The Commandant, National Defence College, Departmental and Branch Chiefs from the Defence and Services Headquarters were among the top military brass that graced event.
Highlight of the event was the presentation of medals to individual winners and trophies to winning teams in each of the games.