No fewer than 2226 athletes will compete for medals in the second edition of the biennial Minister of Interior Games (MIGA) scheduled to hold between November 22 and December 1, this year.
The Games which was unveiled yesterday at the Ministry in Abuja will be held in Kaduna state with the main ministry, Nigeria police, Nigeria prisons, Nigeria Immigration services, Federal Fire Services and the Civil Defence as participates.
Speaking during the unveiling, Minister of Interior, Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (retd) said that the aim is to enhance inter-agency cooperation.
“When we came in November 2015, what we focused was the reforms of the security sector particularly as it affects the service under the direct supervision of the ministry.
“As part of the efforts, we considered certain thing that bringing the services together to foster inter-service cooperation, coordination and collaboration.
This is not our first official visit to Nigeria.
“We also tried to see hopes we can reinforce the relationship between these services and the main ministry. We targeted balancing between the bureaucracy of the civil service and the operations of the services themselves.
One of the things we thought of was to find an atmosphere where we can gather together, share ideas and relate very well. We felt they sports us one of the best areas we can look at. That was what informed our decision of start the biennial Ministry of Interior Games (MIGA).
“The last edition was held in 2016 and we are now planning for the second edition. It will hopefully take place between November 22 to December 1, 2018. The venue is Kaduna state because the state governor opened the door wide open for us to hold the games there.
“We have option of rotating it but for convenience, we decided to hold it there. The main purpose is to foster and reinforce inter-agency relationships. We will also identify a select athletes that will represent the ministry at he national and international competitions.
“It is meant to project the services in the ministry as the major contributors to sports development in the country.
“We want to encourage mass participation in sports to sustain the mental and physical level of the personnel and to enhance welfare and bridge the communication gap for the leadership of the service.
On the game proper, the minister said that; “the athletes will compete in about 13 sports, comprising athletics, badminton, basketball, football, volleyball, handball, squash, swimming, table tennis, tug-of-war, taekwondo, tennis and karate.
“The total events to be competed are 90 and we intend to hive out 90 gold, 90 silver, 110 bronze medals. The participating teams include the main ministry, Nigeria police, Nigeria prisons, Nigeria Immigration services, Federal Fire Services and the Civil Defence.
“The number of participants will be about 2226 athletes. While competition venue include Ahmadu Bello stadium and Murtala Mohammed Square, the accommodation venues for the participants are Police College, Kaduna Polytechnic, Prisons staff College,” he said.