The National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), says it has initiated the annual Sports and Cultural Festival to harness the potentials of the youths towards sustainable national development.
Alhaji Baba Ladan, Director, NYSC North-East Area Office, stated this at the inauguration of the Zonal Preliminaries of the 2021 NYSC Annual Sports and Cultural Festival, on Wednesday in Bauchi.
Ladan, represented by Hajiya Salamatu Muhammed, Deputy Director, NYSC North-East, said the competition was designed to explore talents in dance, drama and sports.
This, he said, is to further entrench the objectives of the scheme towards promoting national unity.
“The scheme seeks to provide an avenue for further interactions among corps members of diverse background, irrespective of our ethnic and religious differences, we can lift our country higher through our shared values, spirit of patriotism and collective will,
“I implore you to adhere strictly to the rules of the festival. You are to also conduct yourselves peacefully throughout the period.
“You should all imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship by not taking the competition as a do or die affair but a platform to showcase your talents.
“To the referees, umpires and judges of dance, drama and standout comedy, I urge you to please display professionalism and fairness in officiating the competition,” he said.
The director further urged members of the public to support the scheme to achieve the set objectives of the festival by harnessing the potentials of the talented youths.
Earlier, Alhaji Hamisu Abubakar, the state coordinator of the scheme, congratulated the corps members for representing their respective states and advised them to shun night travelling.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that states participating in the competing in Bauchi Zone include Adamawa, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Taraba and Yobe.
NAN also reports that Borno state was given a walkover against Jigawa in both football and volleyball competitions for its absence at the festival.
Gombe state would be locking horns with Adamawa while Taraba would face Yobe in football and volleyball games.
Other competitions are track events (athletics), dance, drama as well as comedy.