The President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari has formally flagged-off the 8th Nigerian Air Force Games in Katsina State. The one-week sporting event is dubbed “KATSINA 2016” and the theme is “Sports: A Vital Tool for Professionalism in the NAF”. The objective is to promote physical fitness and comradeship among NAF personnel. A total of 13 sports are being competed for and about 670 personnel are participating in the Games.
Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari has used the occasion to once again applaud the contributions of the NAF to the various Internal Security (IS) Operations across the country, urging the personnel to remain focussed in discharging assigned statutory responsibilities with a high sense of commitment and patriotism to the nation. While noting that the hosting of the Games is apt as it would help to promote physical fitness and reawaken regimentation among personnel, the President, speaking through the Honourable Minister of Defence, Muhammad Mansur Dan-Ali, stated that the government is committed to providing the NAF with the needed logistics to enhance its operations and the welfare of the personnel.
The Honourable Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung was on hand to use the occasion to urge youths to redirect their energy into positive ventures, especially sports. The Minister noted that the contributions by the Armed Forces and Security Agencies to sports development are invaluable and therefore expressed the optimism that the NAF Games should help to produce young talents that can be drawn into national teams to represent the country in future championship.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Mshl Sadique Abubakar stated that the 8th NAF Games is a further demonstration of the high premium that the Service places on promoting physical fitness among its personnel in order to achieve the national security objectives. “It is for this reason that the current NAF administration has embarked on provision of well-equipped gymnasium across NAF Units and Commands to promote fitness training,” said the Chief.
Highlights of the opening ceremony included lighting of the games torch, football match, combat display/taekwondo, tug of war and flypast by NAF L-39 ZA aircraft. The Special Guest of Honour, in the company of the CAS and other guests, also paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Katsina, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Abdulmumini Kabir Usman CFR LLB.