By Zakaa Lazarus
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, has been conferred as the Grand Patron of the Organization of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA), and also named Chief Host of forthcoming Sahel Military Games.
The OSMA President, Brigadier General Maikano Abdullahi conferred the title to the CDS, in a brief ceremony held today 27 July, 2021, at the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja. In attendance were 38 delegates from the Armed Forces of African countries in the Sahel region including the CISM Secretary General, Colonel Mambi Koita and OSMA Secretary General, Captain Djendola Pierre
Gen Irabor, in his remarks, appreciated the leadership of the apex military sporting body in Africa for his conferment as the Grand Patron of CISM, OSMA and the Chief Host of Sahel Military Games. The CDS stated that he is in full support of hosting the forthcoming Sahel games, under the auspices of OSMA, stating that the sporting festival would surely contribute significantly in assisting the Armed Forces in realization of the political mandate of maintaining peace and harmony in order to allow social economic activities to strive in Africa. According to him, sports remain a veritable instrument for not just friendship and diplomacy, but equally for promotion of global peace and conflict resolutions.
The Defence Chief maintained that members of the armed forces remain tools for policy implementation in the actualization of peace and stability in trouble spots both in the Africa Sub-region in particular and the world in general.
The CDS who thanked the various sponsors, assured the organization of his commitment in providing right ambience towards the successful hosting of the sahel games, noting that he looked forward to a more engaging time during the sporting competition.
The OSMA President, Brig Gen Maikano Abdullahi said the investiture honour on the CDS was in recognition of his support towards the Association since he took-over the mantle of leadership as the head of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. He added that CDS has remained a source aspiration and encouragement to OSMA.
The OSMA President disclosed that the Sahel Games is strictly for members of the armed forces of the Sahel Region and is scheduled to take place from 9 to 19 October 2021 in Abuja.
He said the games is to promote peace and togetherness among the following participating Africa countries, including Nigeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin Republic. He added that laurels to be won during the championship would be in the game of football, marathon race, amongst others.