By Our Correspondent
Gov. Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, on Monday in Owerri, received the Torch of Unity for the 2022 edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) which begins Nov. 28 in Delta.
Uzodimma received the Torch at the Imo Government House from Chioma Ajunwa, Nigeria’s first Olympic gold medalist, who brought it into the city.
The state’s Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Emeka Okoronkwo, presented the Touch to the governor.
During the ceremony, Uzodimma said the NSF was a deliberate policy of the Federal Government to unite various sections of Nigeria immediately after the Nigerian Civil War in 1970.
According to him, all states of the federation agreed with the policy then.
“All over the world, nothing can unite a nation faster and better than sports.
“As a signatory to the policy that birthed the National Sports Festival, Imo will not go back,” he said.
The governor recalled that in 2020, one of his first assignments as Governor of Imo was the ceremony of receiving the Torch of Unity.
“It is heart-warming that I am performing the ceremony again in 2022.”
He praised Imo athletes for performing excellently at the 2020 edition of the festival held in Benin.
He urged them to “do better in Delta”.
The governor assured that his government would give all possible support for the festival to succeed.
Uzodimma urged Imo athletes to adequately prepare themselves for the festival
He said he could not wait for the day another Imo athlete would beat the records set by Imo-born Ajunwa.
“Sports is something we can get many things from, such as heroes of nations, rich men and women, and the best politicians.
“I am waiting to receive many gold, silver and bronze medals from participants,” he said.
Jane Asiofo, an official of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, remarked that the Torch started its movement on Oct. 28
“The team has covered the Northern states before coming to the South-East.”
Asiofo thanked the governor for personally receiving the Torch and wished him well.
The high point of the programme was the governor’s symbolic running with the torch from his office to the Government House.
There, he handed it back to the officials for movement to another state in the South-East.
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