By ANDRE D. BISYIT
UNITY had been described as the only avenue that will bring development in every society.
Governor Simon Bako Lalong made the assertion while receiving the Torch of Unity of the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival, tagged Edo 2020, held at the old Government House Rayfield on Friday.
Represented by his Deputy, Prof. Sonni Tyoden, said that since the state is the first to be presented with the Torch Symbolizes the importance of Unity not only in the state but in the country at large.
“I want to assure you that since we are the first state to be presented with this Torch, we shall not only be represented but we shall emerge first in the tournament.
“I also want to use this occasion to talk to Plateau citizens, since we are the first state to be given this torch, we should emphasis, preach Unity and take this as a divine intervention to have a second look at the issue of Unity not only on the Plateau but in Nigeria generally. I believe that the federal government and the National Sports Commission drive to start here because they believe that our state is a factor in the unity of Nigeria” he concluded.
Mr. Saka Akeem, Ag. Zonal Cor-odination, National Sports Commission stressed that the Torch symbolizes Unity among Nigerians and also has to go round the thirty six states before the commencement of the tournament.
He maintained that the federal government is working in conjunction with Edo State government who are the host of the tournament.
“The Federal Government is working in conjunction with Edo State who are the host, serious work is going on there to ensure the success of the event.
“The aim of the tournament is to bring unity among the athletes and the states, you know sports is a unifying factor to all and I want to encourage states to sponsor sporting activities and to participate in the tournament”, he ended.
On his part, Hon. Victor Lapang, Commissioner of Youths and Sports Development stated that the tournament is an avenue for the athletes to showcase their potentials.
“The Governor has assured us that an enabling environment and priority will be accorded to the tournament, as you are aware the athlete just came back from the zonal elimination and qualified for five events out of eight, so it’s a good start.
“We have six weeks to the tournament and we are trying to bring out a programme that three weeks to the event the athletes will be in camp” he concluded.
Earlier, Simon Moven, Director of Sports, while thanking Governor Lalong for his efforts in ensuring sports moves to the higher pedestal, he said.
“The Governor has been supporting the council in ensuring that athletes participate in tournament, despite the lean resources of the state.
“He assured us that we will participate in the coming festival and our athletes are ready because they are training hard always and we have able coaches who are not relenting in their efforts too, but ensuring that the athletes make the state proud, he ended.