In a a bid to combat security challenges facing the country, there is a need for personnel to be physically and mentally fit to make the difference in combating internal security operations, Minister of Defence, Mohammed Badaru has said.
The Minister made this disclosure at the fourth edition of the Chief of Defence Staff Armed Forces and security Agencies Half Marathon Championship 2023 in Abuja.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Minister of Defence, Abubakar Gana, the Minister said that the importance of physical fitness of the military other security agencies cannot be overemphasized, particularly at this time that the country is contending with a myriad of security challenges.
According to him, “the theme for this year’s event is Enhancing Security Agencies Cooperation through Sports” as he was aware that the marathon is a Defence Headquarters initiative, which intends to forge cooperation amongst the security agencies for enhanced understanding and economy of common efforts.
“Towards tackling the multi-dimensional Internet security challenges our country is facing at the moment. This competition will equally provide the platform for the armed forces and other security agencies to interact with one another towards sustaining the good working relationship build and enjoy over the years”, he added.
The Minister said that “physical fitness therefore remains the cornerstone of achieve assigned tasks adding that overall, physical fitness is a basis for service personnel, good health and physical well-being”.
He noted that the current security challenges confronting the nation are enormous and thus called for synergy and cooperation amongst Armed Forces, as well as all the security agencies in the country.
“This explains why engagements such as this championship needs to be sustained and nuanced introduced to facilitate more interaction among Armed Forces personnel. We are not unaware of the huge efforts and great sacrifice our troops are making are tackling the security challenges our country is currently facing. They’re going to get organization of this competition could not have those come at a better time, as it’s readily stands to test the physical fitness and readiness of the competing personnel”, he said.
According to him, running marathon is a high intensity, total body workout, so it is one of the best ways to build endurance and to maintain healthy weight required for enhanced national security.
He commended the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa for putting together this year’s marathon competition, which stands to foster cooperation amongst our service personnel, while promoting synergy among the Armed Forces and security agencies as professionally required to the participating athletes, according to interest, live is a marathon not experience.
He also commended the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Bola Tinubu at ensuring the best of welfare and working conditions of the Armed Forces and security agencies personnel.
He appreciates the huge efforts and great sacrifices they are making to make that the country Nigeria is safe and indeed prosperous.
Earlier, the Nigerian Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Christopher Musa stressed that the Fourth Edition of the CDS Armed Forces and other Security Agencies Half Marathon Championship 2023 aimed at fostering the existing cordial relationship between the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security Agencies is without doubt coming at a very auspicious time when relationship between the AFN and the security agencies is ultimately required to overcome the enormity of security challenges currently facing our dear country.
According to him, the ability of sports and friendly competitions to foster this desired relationship can never be overemphasized thus our country and dear citizens will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
This will also be a platform for participants to continue to build operational capacity that will enhance the peace and security of our dear nation, he added.
He said that “it is common knowledge that men of the Armed Forces and Security Agencies have in the past brought athletic glory to Nigeria through the number of international trophies they won that it is the desire of the Defence Headquarters under his watch, to restore the glory days and as resources permit this competition will continue to be an annual event”.
The Defence Chief therefore urged the participating Services and Security Agencies in this epoch event to see themselves as members of a larger security family.
“You are significantly indispensable in the implementation of the security architecture of the country. Though playing different roles and approaching your jobs with different strategies, in matters of national security, you must appreciate and protect each other as partners and co-stakeholders in the overriding task of securing our dear nation”, he said.
The Defence Headquarters will continue to project the excellent relationship with other Security Agencies and in fact, seek areas for more collaboration and enhancing synergy of efforts.
“I have no doubt in my mind that by building bridges of understanding through healthy competition, the efforts and sacrifices in defending the country from external aggression or internal insurrection, will be a lot easier. In the light of this, the Half Marathon Championship will be used as a testing ground for the Armed Forces and Security Agencies Games to bring out our best to represent us in International Competitions. Unity among security agencies will foster public trust in us and improve their appreciation of our enormous sacrifices in confronting these security challenges. I therefore, urge you to continue to be guided, at all times, by the sense of professionalism and spirit of sportsmanship in the discharge of your sacred duties”, he said.
He applauded the organizing committee for working tirelessly in this event to make it a successful one.
A minute silence was observed in honour of those that lost their lives in Kaduna misshape.
The Director of Sports and the Chairman of the Committee, Air vice Marshal Abidemi Marquis while giving vote of thanks, expressed his appreciation to the Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa for providing all the resources required to hold this fourth edition of the Chief of Defence Staff armed forces and other security agencies of marathon 2023
The marathon kick started from the Civil Service Institute, Kubwa Express road, Abuja and terminated at the Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment, Asokoro, Abuja.
The Championship featured two events, 25.1 kilometers for both male and female marathoner sand 5 kilometers for veterans’ road uses.
Car was giving to the first male and female that won the 25.1 kilometres.
First Female, Deborah Pam from Civil Defence won the car while Stephen Joshua from Fire Service while, Blessing Bulus from Civil Defence is the second female received the cash prize of one million and the third female winner, Patience John from Nigerian Army.
The same cash prizes also applied to the second and third male 25.1 kilometers that won.
Both the officers of the Armed Forces and other security agencies were in attendance.