June 10, 2023

Army Games : Dalung highlights values in sports

October 11, 2016

SPORTS has been identified as a veritable tool to provide gainful employment for the Nigerian youth, even as it is noted that failure to develop the youth through sport is an invitation to criminality.

These were the submissions of the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Barrister Solomon Dalong, while speaking on Monday at the formal opening of the 16th Nigerian Army Sports Festival at the National Stadium, Abuja.

According to the minister, sports could be used to create employment for the teeming unemployed youth in the country, declaring that any country that failed to establish the youth today through sports was inadvertently breeding criminals for tomorrow.

He called on every stakeholders to give sports development a priority, saying that, “I am appealing to all stakeholders to make sports development a priority by devoting more resources into the development of our youths.

“The consistent funding of sports development will, no doubt, generate the needed employment, earn the country foreign exchange, open the country to sports tourism and serve as instrument of national unity and integration.”

According to Dalung, if the youth were productively engaged, the country would save the huge sum of money being spent on security annually.

“If Nigerian youths are productively engaged, it will not breed criminals, terrorists and thugs and it will help the country from the collosal amount that the nation is committing yearly to security issues due to past failure to adequately invest in the youth,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, in his address on the occasion stated that the quest to discover more talents to represent Nigeria at international tournaments was one of the reasons the Army Sports Festival was reintroduced after seven years that it was last held.

He stated that the sports festival was also meant to enhance the physical fitness and mental alertness of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army, especially at such a time like this when the country was tackling insurgency and other security challenges.

“For the past seven years we are not been able to stage the event but today we are happy to be here and to witness the 2016 Nigerian Army Sports Festival.

“Having known the significant of sport in any society, we will not relent on our effort to identify more talents who will represent the country at international tournaments,” he said.

While expressing happiness that the Army had produced athletes who had represented the country at international sporting events, including the Olympics, Buratai urged Nigerian Army personnels to keep on improving on their physical and mental alertness all the times.

The sports festival was declared open by the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Mansur Dan Ali, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event.

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