No fewer than 347 athletes of Sahel Military Forces are expected to participate in the maiden CDS OSMA Sahel Military Games slated to be held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, from October 9 to 17.
The president of the Organisation of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA), Brigadier General Maikano Abdullahi, disclosed this at the weekend while speaking to newsmen at TY Buratai International Golf Resort and Country Club after the inspection of the facilities for the championship.
General Abdullahi said the championship aims at promoting peace and unity among the military in Sahel countries as well as reinforce the collective resolve of the Armed Forces to end the menace of Jihadis and Boko Haram in the region, will see a total of 347 athletes from 12 member countries compete in three sporting events – football, marathon and golf- to prove their strength, stamina and work out.
He said Nigeria is ready to host the Sahel Military Games in the nation’s capital city, Abuja, in adherence to COVID-19 protocols with auxiliary support to be provided at the venue.
“We’ve wrapped up our inspection of the facilities for the forthcoming CDS OSMA 1st Sahel Military Games slated for October 9 to 17.
“We have seen the football field where the football event would take place in Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment and the route where the marathoners are going to run from Dede Zuba to Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment finishing ground. We are now in TY Buratai Golf Course where the golf event will take place.
“Eight countries are going to participate in golf while 12 countries will compete in football and marathon events. A total of 347 athletes will be coming for the Games.
“The aims and objectives of the championship is to unite the Armed Forces of the Sahel Region and our brothers in Africa. You know, fighting is won by many means and sports is one of them. Sport is one of the non-kinetic activities that can mellow down the temple of war. We want to send a message to the world that the Sahel countries are together,” General said.
OSMA President added that the patron of the organization Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, has assured OSMA and all participants of total support, saying it is a tradition in the international military sports council to compete without a fixed prize.
“It is our tradition in the International Military Sports Council that we compete without a fixed prize. Our prize is participation, coming together and sending the message of peace and solidarity.
We are in top gear of our preparation. 12 countries are participating in this Championships but the Sahel countries that are participating are Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Benin Republic and Libya. These are the Sahel countries that are mostly affected by the so-called Jihadis and Boko Haram that are fomenting problems in our region and we want to send a message to the world that we are together in one course and we can work together as brothers and partners.