From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
The 18th edition of the Nigeria Colleges of Education Games (NICEGA) has commenced in Minna, the Niger state capital with 42 colleges of Education participating.
Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu while declaring the championship open at the weekend in Minna said the game which could not take place in 2013 due to strike action embarked upon by Nigerian colleges of education lecturers couldn’t have come at a better time than now in view of the current period of insecurity as the nation continues to search for national cohesion and unity. Aliyu said sports is a vehicle for unity and social mobilization stressing further that “given the abundant energy and enthusiasm of the youths, bringing together thousands of students athletes to compete in various games will go a long was in developing the spirit of accommodation, tolerance, perseverance and camaraderie and in promoting national integration”.
The governor noted that it was in the realization of this that the state government did not hesitate in granting approval for the games and pledging his support to ensuring the success of the games, despite the huge financial implications because sports have proven to be a vehicle for the promotion of national unity, peace and harmony.
The Chief Servant however pointed out that despite the promotion of peace and unity among Nigerians which is one of the objectives of the games, the event will provide a medium of discovering and nurturing young talents for national and international sporting competitions.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Provost of the institution, Professor Farouk Haruna Abdulrasheed said the hosting of the game by the college has opened another chapter in the history of the college and the state as this is the first time the college is hosting the game.
Abdulrasheed disclosed that despite the hash economic reality in the country, the college decided to go ahead with the game believing that sports is an integral part of education in addition to fostering unity among the participating schools.
Speaking at the event the National President of NICEGA, Dr. Sanusi Mohammed while commending the Niger state college of education for putting up what he described as an excellent facilities in the history of the games, said NICEGA has been doing a lot to improve sports and fight social vices in the country.