Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd) have stated that the country would be more united if leaders paid adequate attention to the development of the sports sector.
Gowon, while addressing those who converged for the unveiling and lighting of the Unity Torch for the Legends Wrestle for National Unity Festival, put together in remembrance of Nigeria’s past heroes at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja, stressed the importance of sports to the nation’s unity.
The event that will hold in Enugu on December 9 and 10 will welcome over 20 wrestlers from across the world featuring in different contests.
Gowon, whose tenure as the country’s head of state started the National Sports Festival, called on every Nigerian to support the Legends Wrestle For National Unity Festival, adding that it would help cement the country’s unity.
Also speaking, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, pointed out that there was the need to develop school sports in the country.
According to him, “We believe that if we are able to develop sports, we would be able to create jobs to ensure that some people who do not have formal education and those who do not have the opportunity of achieving much in education can also gain prominence just as their counterparts in Europe, America and the rest if the world.
“You do not need a university degree to be a good sports person… what you need is a good skill and a conducive environment.”
Ekweremadu disclosed that Enugu was chosen as host city for the event because Enugu is unique in many respects: "As the center of the South East of Nigeria, Enugu is known for peace and also for tourism because of most of all home movies are produced in Enugu. We believe that Enugu can also pioneer the issue of unity in Nigeria."
“Today, we are talking about arms struggle all over the place and we need to change the narrative; in doing that, we need to use sports, which we believe is one thing that is common to every Nigerian. We believe that if we bring people to Enugu through sports, it would be a way for us to network at a different level instead of a conflict level.”