Ekiti State’s Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Saturday received the Torch of Unity for the 19th National Sports Festival, pledging to support the state contingent in their preparations for the competition.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the torch was received on behalf of Fayemi by the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Information, Youths and Sports Development, Kola Ajumobi.
While receiving it at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium in Ado-Ekiti, Fayemi said he was delighted to receive the symbol of peace among sports men and women as the 19th NSF approaches.
The governor said part of the agenda of his administration was to empower youths through sports and to further curb social vices among the youths.
He said: “Ekiti has the highest number of professors and academic pioneers in Nigeria and also have many of our citizens who are leading lights in every field of human endeavour as well as those who are at the frontiers of research in the academia and scholastic practice all over the world.
“It is therefore pertinent and logical to turn towards the attainment of feats in sport and games.
“In the recent past, the fastest man and woman in athletics came from Ekiti. I am referring to Olusoji Fasuba and Damola Osayomi respectively, who were both shining stars at their prime.
“Our greatest resources in Ekiti remains our people, most especially our youths, and since human beings are the measure of all things, then healthy and enlightened people can drive the sustainable development we want to achieve in the state.”
Fayemi then assured all members of the state’s contingent to the festival next month in Abuja of his maximum support morally, physically and financially as they prepare for the competition.
He however charged the state’s sports men and women not to relent in their efforts to train hard in order to win laurels for the state.
NAN reports that the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, who was represented by the ministry’s South-West Zonal Coordinator, Ajao Olufemi, led their delegation to the event.
While speaking with journalists, Dalung said he was delighted with the turnout of sports men and women to participate in the event.
He expressed the belief that peace and unity would continue to reign in the 36 states of the federation as the torch of unity got to the area.
Also speaking at the event, the General Manager of Ekiti Sports Council, Ayodeji Samo, said the management staff of the council were delighted to receive the torch of unity.
Samo said: “I want to categorically state that Ekiti will be adequately represented at the NSF in Abuja in 18 sports.”
Samo expressed the sports council’s gratitude to the state governor for giving the state’s sports men and women the privilege to participate in the forthcoming competition.
The General Manager, however, assured the governor that the state contingent to the festival would win laurels and make the state proud.