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Olympic Day Run: Gumel calls for unity

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As the world celebrates Olympic Day, the President of the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), Mr Habu Gumel, has called for unity and peaceful existence in the country.

Gumel spoke in Lagos on Saturday at the 2022 Olympic Day Celebration.

The NOC president urged Nigerians to ensure peaceful coexistence just as the International Olympics Committee President, Thomas Bach, appealed to member nations to give peace a chance.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that some of the activities lined up to mark the Olympic Day Run celebration included aerobic exercise, demonstration of sports and distribution of certificates to participants to mark the occasion.

The NOC president, who read a ‘Message For Olympic Day 2022’ on behalf of the IOC President, said: “When our founder, Pierre de Coubertin, revived the Olympic Games in 1894, he saw it as a way to promote peace among nations and people.

“Always the visionary, he said: ‘Should the institution of the Olympic Games prosper, it can become a potent factor in securing universal peace.

“Therefore, the purpose of the Olympic Movement is always to promote peace through sport.

“This Olympic Day, when we celebrate the creation of the Olympic Movement, is therefore the perfect moment to remind ourselves of this peace mission”.

The message added, “Sports always builds bridges and brings people together in peace and solidarity.

”In these difficult times we are living through, with conflicts and division on the rise, we need this unifying power of sports more than ever before.

“This Olympic spirit guides us as we strive to go faster, aims higher, become stronger, by standing together — for a peaceful world.

“On this Olympic Day, please join us as we call on everyone around the world: ‘Give Peace a Chance’’.

Corroborating Bach’s message, Gumel seized the occasion to also call on every Nigerian to allow peace to reign for everyone to have rest of mind.

“This message was sent to the rest of the world to make sure that this celebration is done properly.

“My appeal is that we should please let us work together; unite together to bring peace to our country, and to the whole world.

“We need to exercise peace in everything we do, so that we can have rest of mind.

“Because without peace, you cannot have rest of mind.

“Let us continue to pray to God Almighty for Him to continue to guide us, protect us, so that whatever we do, it will be to the best interest of our country and to ourselves so that everybody can be happy.

“On behalf of the International Olympic Committee, and Nigeria Olympic Committee, I hereby flag off the Olympic Day, today 25th of June year 2022; May God bless us,” he said.

Also speaking on the occasion, the Secretary General of the NOC, Olabanji Oladapo, thanked the IOC president for sustaining the values of the body, and also commended the participants.

“Sports is an ingredient; once you get involved in sports, it is sure that you’re fulfilling one of the essentials of health requirement of this world.

“I want to thank the president of IOC for continuing to carry the banner and ensure that Olympic Day is celebrated all over the world.

“I  also want to thank all the participants for taking part in the celebration because without you, the celebration won’t be a colourful one,” he said.

Reports have it that no fewer than 200 athletes, aerobic and skating clubs members participated in the annual event.

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