By Victor Okoye
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Leo Irabor, says the Sahel military games was an avenue to build camaraderie between the Armed forces of African countries.
Irabor made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the first CDS OSMA Sahel countries’ military games for peace and solidarity, in Abuja.
He expressed delight at the organisation of the games, adding that its objective was beyond just winning medals.
“I am delighted and grateful to God Almighty for enabling the DHQ and OSMA conduct a hitch-free games.
“I am reliably informed that all participants gave a good account of themselves in the respective events competed for throughout the games.
“Undoubtedly, the games have been worthwhile and I am impressed by the exceptional commitment exhibited by all participants during the competition. I wish to point out, however, that the emphasis of the Sahel games is not to win medals or trophies.
“Its objective is to build camaraderie through a forum where the Armed forces of African countries can embrace our differences and enhance our similarities for peace and solidarity,” he said.
He commended the President of OSMA, the organising committee, sponsors and everyone who contributed to making the games a huge success, adding,” with the standard exhibited throughout this games, I adjudge you all as winners.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 42km marathon race, which marked the climax of the games, saw Tanzania’s Michael Sanga finishing in an impressive time of 2:19:39 secs to clinch gold in the men’s event.
Ezekiel Ngimba also of Tanzania took the silver in 2:26:09 secs, while Cameroon’s Foima Justulin with 2:26:43 secs settled for bronze.
Fabino Joseph of Tanzania finished fourth in 2:30:25 secs, while Nigeria’s Husamatu Sanusi finished in fifth position in 2:34:24 secs. Fellow compatriots, Dauda Solomon and Nuhu Mohammed finished in sixth and tenth positions, respectively.
It was another one-two for Tanzania in the women’s category as the duo of Jacqueline Sakilu (2:43:35) and Sisilia Ginoka (2:44:35) took gold and silver, while Ossou Wakaye of Congo Brazzaville settled for bronze.
Nigeria’s Badmus M, Inah. C and Johnson F, finished seventh, eight and ninth respectively.
NAN also reports that the Republic of Chad finished overall winners of the games, while Cameroon and Nigeria finished second and third respectively. The games, which began on Oct. 9, ended on Saturday. (NAN)