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April 22, 2024
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CDS pledges to restore glorious days of military in sports

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By Sumaila Ogbaje

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Christopher Musa, has promised to restore the glorious days of the Nigerian military of winning trophies in international sports competitions.

Musa gave the assurance at the closing of the 8th General Assembly of the Organisation of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA), on Friday in Abuja.

He said it was common knowledge that the armed forces had in the past brought athletic glory to their respective countries through their participation and trophies won in international athletic events.

The CDS said the military under his watch would use the platforms provided by OSMA and Council of International Military Sports (CISM) sporting competitions, Olympics, Commonwealth, All African and Invictus Games respectively.

“Since my assumption of office as the CDS of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, I found sports as one of the veritable tools in our non-kinetic efforts in tackling the multidimensional threats in our dear country.

“Further to that, I also envisioned that the promotion of sports is a vital medium to enhance unity and cooperation among members of the armed forces, our families and the general populace.

“This, is as enshrined in my leadership concept which focus on the people centric approach.

“In my leadership concept, the Armed Forces of Nigeria have also started a sports recovery program through the Invictus Program Foundation for our Wounded, Injured and Sick Soldiers to manage Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Based on this, we are gradually observing positive behavioural and mental changes among those involved or influenced through the medium of sports,’’ he said.

Musa thanked the participating countries in the OSMA General Assembly, Abuja 2024 for re-electing the Nigerian Army’s Maj.-Gen. Abdullahi Maikano to continue as the OSMA President for another term.

According to CDS, the event was aimed at fostering the existing cordial relationship among the various armed forces in Africa.

He said the event came at a time when good working relationship between African countries was ultimately required to overcome the security challenges facing the continent.

He added that the ability and the capacity of OSMA to nurture bond could never be overemphasised, adding that citizens would be the ultimate beneficiaries of the collaboration in all spheres.

“Going further, the Armed Forces of Nigeria will continue to protect the excellent relationship with all African countries.

“I have no doubt in my mind that by building bridges of understanding through sports diplomacy, Africa will be better for it,’’ he said.

The President of OSMA, Maj.-Gen. Abdullahi Maikano, said that sport was one of the non-kinetic methods of military operation through participation by other civilians.

Maikano said the aim of developing CISM and OSMA was to bring all the officers and soldiers together for the common good of all in sport rather than in the field of war.

He said the delegates from 30 African countries, re-elected for another term of four years during the general assembly.

According to him, that is an indication of the confidence they have in Nigeria and pledged not let them down.

He thanked the CDS and service chiefs for their support to OSMA as well as the delegates for their commitment to the organisation and attendance to the general assembly event in Nigeria.

The Chief of Nigerian Delegation and Director of Sports, DHQ, AVM Abidemi Marquis, said it was historical that a Nigerian was occupying the headship of OSMA for two terms.

Marquis said the attendance of 30 nations at the event in the country came at a time when Nigeria was changing the narrative about its security situation.

He the Nigerian military was fully prepared to host the upcoming African military games in November, adding that about 3000 athletes and officials were being expected.

President, International Military Sports Council (CISM). Col. Nilton Rolim, expressed confidence in the future of Africa in international military sports.

Rolim said the activities of OSMA were inspiring for other countries to follow, adding that the hosting of the second African Games in Nigeria was an important step forward.

According to him, the leadership from Nigeria is expected to lead them to achieve their goals through sport. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

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