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1st CDS/OSMA Sahel military games begin in Abuja

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1st CDS/OSMA Sahel military games begin in Abuja

By Sumaila Ogbaje

The first Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces / Organization of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA) of the Sahel Military Games for Peace and Solidarity kicked off Monday in Abuja with a contingent of armed forces from nine African countries.

The countries present are Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Mali, Tanzania and Chad.

The news agency of Nigeria recalls the president of the OSMA, the brigadier-general. Maikano Abdullahi, had revealed that about 327 athletes were expected out of 14 counting for the games.

Abdullahi revealed that the first edition of the game will feature three sports, namely football, golf and marathon, while the second edition to be held in Chad will include, among others, a range of combat.

While declaring the tournament open, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr Ogboya Onu said the organization of the match in Nigeria was appropriate given the current security situation facing the nation.

The whole of the African continent, especially the Sahel region, was plagued by insurgency and other security challenges, UN said, bringing together the continent’s armed forces would be a force multiplier.

He said security remains the most important tool that can attract investments that can lead to the growth and development of a nation.

According to him, insecurity and political instability have sent many African sons and daughters out of the continent and many have died in the Mediterranean Sea.

“We believe very strongly that if the members of the armed forces of the countries in this region can meet, play together, eat together in a very good environment, it will help.

“It’s like a new beginning and this tree that we are planting today will become a tree that will help solve many of the security challenges facing the Sahel region through non-kinetic means,” he said.

The Minister congratulated the Chief of Defense Staff and the Chairman of OSMA for the initiative to bring the armed forces together to participate in sports competitions.

According to him, the men and women of our armed forces need to stay fit physically, mentally and emotionally as this will help them cope effectively and efficiently with the changes they face on an ongoing basis.

“The leaders of our armed forces have demonstrated that they ensure that officers and men maintain professional standards, discipline, loyalty and dedication in the performance of their duties,” he said. declared.

Chief of Defense Staff Gen. Lucky Irabor said the competition was part of the need to ensure that armed forces personnel continue to maintain a high level of mental alertness and physical fitness.

Irabor said physical fitness remains the cornerstone of mental and combat readiness, adding that it helps keep the military and wake up in top shape to enable them to successfully complete their missions.

He said all nations must ensure that personnel in their armed forces remain mentally and physically prepared at all times, with no one in doubt about their ability to defend the nation.

According to him, the start of the first addition of the military games for peace and solidarity heralded the exploitation of the non-kinetic aspects of the operation to mitigate the war on insurgency and banditry which are most prevalent in the countries of the Sahel.

“The timing of this event is therefore appropriate because it directly tests the physical preparation of our staff to meet these challenges while staying in shape.

“By organizing this event, we are aware of the need to foster camaraderie between our armed forces in order to meet in the mandate of our professional vocation.

“This year’s event also aims to promote synergy through the interaction of military sports as well as cement African brotherhood.

“I want to encourage all the athletes here to soak up the sportsmanship and strive for peak performance to win laurels for them,” he said.

In his welcome address, the President of OSMA, Brigadier-General. Abdullahi, said the organization of the game was in line with the promise he made during his campaign to become OSMA president.

Abdullahi said the tournament was intended to show an example of cooperation between participating countries in African solidarity and brotherhood.

He said the first edition was limited to football, golf and the marathon, adding that the next championship would be hosted by the Chadian public and would include fighting races, shooting, boxing and basketball.

According to him, it was suggested that the number of participating countries should include all Africans to increase the reach of the event.

Thank you CDS for approving the hosting of the game in Nigeria and all the sponsors who made the game a reality.

The OSMA president revealed that 10 of the 14 expected countries had arrived while the other four were due to arrive tonight.

Source: NAN

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