As part of efforts to bring about synergy among militaries of African Countries particularly countries confronting security challenges of terrorism, and other Transnational crimes, the Organization of Military Sports in Africa OSMA will commence a weeklong sporting fiesta in Abuja.
The OSMA-Sahel military games commencing on Saturday 9th October will feature teams and individual atlethes from 14 countries namely Mali, Bourkina Faso, Nigeria, Niger, Libya, Chad, Cameroon, Tanzania, Congo Brazaville, Benin Republic Kinshasa and Kenya among others.
President of OSMA, Brigadier General Maikano Abdullahi who made this known on Wednesday, noted that a total of 327 athletes and officials from the participating countries are expected to start arriving Nigeria on Saturday for the games.
Maikano who also doubles as the Vice President on International Federation of Military Sports CISM, disclosed that sporting events to be completed for are Golf, Football and Marathon race.
Known as “The first Chief of Defence Staff Organization of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA) Sahel Countries Military Games for Peace and Solidarity”, the President said “The sporting event is to promote peace and friendliness among the participating Armed Forces in the Sahel region”.
According to him, “10 countries are participating in the Marathon events and medals will be won both at individual levels and team levels. Golf was chosen because of the high caliber of officers that will be participating”.
“There will also be an invitational relay race involving sister security agencies in Nigeria comprising the Nigerian Police, the Customs, Immigrations, NSCDC, Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps and the team from Kenya”.
Gen Maikano disclosed that during the competition, a Peace Trophy will be presented to participating countries aside prices for individual and team champions noting that the Minister of Science and Technological Innovations will be the Special Guest at the opening ceremonies.
Emphasizing on the motives for the games, he said, “”In conflict resolution, we have kinetic and non kinetic approaches. Sports is one of the avenues for cooperation. So these countries, we are basically coming together for peace and solidarity”.
Continuing he said the OSMA – Sahel games is the first of it’s kind in Africa adding it is a new creation of CISM. Nigeria is the first country hosting it. It is to bring about peace, unity, and solidarity among armed forces of member countries.
“It is going to be a continuous exercise even after Nigeria. Already other countries have signified interest in hosting other editions. Chad is already on standby for the next edition with plans to center it around the Lake Chad Basin Commission Countries”.
He pointed out that support for the games was coming from the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Lucky Irabor, the ministry of Defence, services headquarters and other Paramilitary agencies adding that the Service Chief’s would grace the opening and closing ceremonies.