As member nations intensified preparation for the 2022 CommonWealth Games in Birmingham, England, Nigeria on Friday received the Queen’s Baton Relay in Abuja.
The iconic event started with a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace in London as part of the city’s Commonwealth Day festivities.
The president, CommonWealth Games Nigeria, Engr. Habul Gumel received the Queen’s Baton Relay at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for onward presentation to the minister of youth and sports development, Mr. Sunday Dare who will handover the baton to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria is the first country in Africa to receive the Queen’s Baton Relay.
According to Gumel, “The Queen’s Baton Relay which is similar to the Olympic Torch is a relay around the world and the Baton carries a message from the head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth II.
“The Relay started in October 2021; when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II placed her message to the Commonwealth into the Baton. The Baton will then travel for 294 days, connecting communities in every corner of the Commonwealth, embracing unique cultures and sharing stories.”.
This collective journey, he stated further, “will ignite hope, solidarity and collaboration for the next generation, with stories inspired to take on the challenges that matter most to us,” Gumel stated.
Gumel also explained that Nigeria is the third country to receive the Queen’s Baton Relay after which it will tour 15 other African countries before moving to Asia.
The 15 other African Countries are: Gambia (October 16), Sierra Leone (October 23), Ghana (October 26), Cameroon (October 29), Kenya (November 2), Uganda (November 5), Rwanda (November 10), Tanzania (November 13), Malawi (November 17) and Zambia (November 20).
Also, Mozambique (November 23), Mauritius (November 27), Botswana (November 30), St. Helena (December 5), South Africa (December 8), Namibia (December 14), Eswatini (December 17), Lesotho (December 20) Seychelles (December 23).
Birmingham 2022 will stage the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen’s Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories, reaching Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Caribbean and the Americas.