The Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) has pledged the Ministry’s commitment towards facilitating the participation of members of the Nigerian Armed Forces in sports at the National and International fora.
General Magashi stated this when the President of the Organisation of Military Sports in Africa, Brig Gen Maikano Abdullahi, who is also the vice president of Council International Du Sport Miliaire, paid a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Defence in Ship House, Abuja.
The Minister expressed optimism that the participation of the Military in sports with the Armed Forces of other countries would promote friendship and cultural integration among Nations.
“I am well informed of the progress of the organization and also proud that the Nigerian Military is an active member of the association. In any case I pledge my full support to assist the organization anytime it has requests that need my attention,” he said.
Earlier the President of the Organisation of Military Sports in Africa, Brig Gen Maikano Abdullahi, had informed the Minister that the organization which is within the military home, is all about the Armed Forces coming together in harmony, to organize championship games which include Basketball, Parachuting, Shooting, Football and Handball.
He pointed out that these activities have helped in promoting peace and stability in African Countries, disclosing that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the hosting of the next edition of the Sahel Games in Abuja, come October this year.
Gen Maikano however, stated that funding has been a long time challenge and he solicited for the and support of the Ministry of Defence, Chief of Defence Staff and the Service Service Chiefs in putting together the championship games as often as necessary.
He noted that bringing together Armed Forces of countries like Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger Republic, Nigeria, Libya, Chad, Cameroun to participate in these games in Abuja, will send a good signal and also pass an information to the adversaries of the respective countries, the public and Africa in general, that there exists peace and harmony in the region.
The Organisation of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA), was formed in 1994 by a Nigerian with 51 Nations as members, while International Military Sports Council (CISM) has 134 countries as members. This organization, meant only for the military environment can be classified as second to the Olympics in the world, and second to COJA in Africa respectively.
D (Press & PR)