The Nigerian Army has appealed to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for support as they prepare for the Nigerian Army Sports Festival in September, 2016.
The Chairman of the Central Organizing Planning Committee for the games, Major – General Hassan Umaru made the appeal when a 6-man delegation from the Nigerian Army visited the Hon Minister, Solomon Dalung in Abuja.
Maj-Gen Umaru solicited the use of the National stadium in Abuja for the opening and closing ceremonies as well as technical assistance from various sports federations whose sports will be featured at the festival.
“You have been seeing us wielding weapons at check points but this time around, we want to put down those weapons and mingle with our society. The festival involves a lot of technical issues and that is why we are here to discuss with you and seek your assistance before we go ahead with the preparations,” Major -General Umaru said.
The Chairman also called on the Minister to enable the Armed forces to participate in National Sports Festivals as an institution and carpeted the poaching and dumping of its athletes during sports festivals by states.
Dalung commended the Nigerian Army for their patriotic and selfless contribution in defending the territorial integrity of the country and for consistently churning out athletes who have made the country proud by winning medals in various sports.
Dalung said that the Ministry of Youth and Sports will not only mobilize technical support for the festival but will also be actively involved in the organization of the games.
The Minister advised the Army to seek partnership and sponsorship with the private sector for the festival to reduce the financial burden involved.
He also appealed to the Military authorities to salvage the numerous sports facilities in the barracks across the country which are in a dilapidating state due to lack of maintenance, promising to visit the barracks to hold sports-related town hall meetings as part of government’s new focus on grassroots sports development.

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