By Festus Ahon
ASABA-PRESIDENT Mohammadu Buhari, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and the President of International Association of Athletics Federation, IAAF, Lord Sebastian Coe have told athletes participating in 21st African Senior Athletics Championship, tagged Asaba 2018 to take advantage of the event to build friendship that would consolidate peace and unity in Africa.

Flags of countries participating are hold as contingents march during the opening of the 21st African Senior Athletics Championships at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State in Midwestern Nigeria, on August 1, 2018.
The five-day biennial African Senior Athletics Championship has got underway at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, Delta State in Midwestern Nigerian. / AFP PHOTO /

The trio who spoke Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the event in Asaba, harped on the importance of building a strong tile among Africa countries.

Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Mr Solomon Dalung, said; “Sports has become a veritable vehicle for friendship and building relationship among African nation.

“If Africa must excel in sports, private bodies must be involved in the sponsorship of sports championship,” thanking Governor Okowa, the government and people of Delta State for hosting the championship on behalf of the country.

On his part, Governor Okowa thanked God that 52 African countries were in Asaba for the championship, adding that “Championship of this nature is vital in building friendship. It is a thing of joy that we have provided a befitting stadium for the championship, enjoy your stay in Asaba.”

Also, Mr Lord Coe who spoke earlier, commended Governor Okowa for providing a befitting venue for the championship, stating that the Stephen Keshi Stadium “is a legacy for generations to come.”

President of Confederation of African Athletics, Mr Hamad Malboum in his remarks, thanked Okowa for providing venue for the championship and urged athletes and officials participating in the events to respect the rules of the game.

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