Sports and Youth Development Minister, Sunday Dare, has urged private and corporate organisations operating 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 headbands designed in national colours and donated by the Flag Foundation of Nigeria (FFN) in support of Team Nigeria at the on-going Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
The minister, who was represented at the occasion by Special Adviser on Projects, Abiodun Owoborade, applauded FFN for the support, describing it as a demonstration of uncommon sense of patriotic and nationalistic ideal by a non-governmental organisation.
The Minister appealed to philanthropists, 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 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.
He recalled that Nigeria is an extremely heterogeneous society, comprising peoples of different ethnic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds. “We use sport to let people understand and appreciate each other beliefs, values and way of life better, leading to tolerance, harmonious and peaceful co-existence,” he said.
On the donation of items in support of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the FFN boss explained that his organisation is committed in championing causes that would impact positively in the unity and peaceful co-existence amongst Nigerians.
“The donation we made to the Federal Ministry of Sports is our own way of expressing our faith and believe in our dear country that challenges notwithstanding we are proud of our country and very committed in the efforts to promote unity and faith as enshrined in our nations Coat of Arms,’’ he said.
According to him, the country will emerge from the present condition of things stronger and better positioned to lead the African continent.