By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Organization of Military Sports in Africa (OSMA) has conferred on the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor the Grand Patron of the Organization.
The CDS was also named Chief Host of forthcoming Sahel Military Games to be held in Abuja.
At the event held in the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), Abuja, OSMA President, Brigadier General Maikano Abdullahi narrated how the CDS supported him when he was vying for the position.
He said the CDS was the first person he consulted when he indicated interest in the position.
He said 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.
The CDS in his speech pledged full support for the 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.
He noted that 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.
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.