By Bunmi Ogunyale
The Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, has urged private and corporate organisations in Nigeria to support sporting activities to enhance speedy development of the sector for nation building.
He spoke recently in Abuja during the presentation of specially designed hand-held Nigeria National Flags; fez caps; wrist and head bands designed in national colures and donated by the Flag Foundation of Nigeria (FFN) in support of team Nigeria at the on-going 2021 edition of Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The minister, who was represented at the occasion by Arch. Abiodun Owoborade, Special Adviser on HM Projects, applauded FFN for the support, describing it as a demonstration of uncommon sense of patriotic and nationalistic ideal by a non-governmental organisation.
He said that by its very nature, sport is about participation, inclusion and citizenship, even as he noted that the intrinsic values of sport which include, teamwork, fairness, discipline, respect for the opponent and the rules of the game can be harnessed in the advancement of solidarity, social cohesion, and peaceful coexistence that Nigeria needs at the moment to overcome myriads of challenges besetting it.
The Minister however, appealed to philanthropists, other non-governmental organisations and good spirited Nigerians to emulate FFN and support the sports sector for promotion of peace, tolerance and understanding in the country.
Director-General and Chief vexillologist of FFN, Agiri Chris, said in his remarks at the occasion said that the feeling of nationalism is indispensable to the idea of nation-building and that sports is the essential thread that binds people together and helps in developing a feeling of patriotism and unity that can counter regional factionalism, ethnic sentiments, and sinister designs.