Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno on Thursday lighted the Touch of Hope, saying it symbolises unity and the return of peace in the war ravaged Borno state.
The Touch of Hope was presented to the governor by officials of the state Sports Council at the Government House, Maiduguri.
Hundreds of youths and women witnessed the Touch of Hope presentation, hitherto, suspended in the past six years due to Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
Shettima, who expressed optimism over the presentation of the Touch of Hope, noted that sport was a veritable tool to promote peace and unity in the state.
“Sport is a symbol of unity in the country; no other human endeavour could raise Nigeria better than sport.
“During national and international competitions, we all unite and support our teams irrespective of tribal and religious affiliations or sectional background. Sport is indeed promoter of unity,” he said.
Shettima disclosed that his administration had initiated viable projects to encourage sport development in the state.
He listed some of the projects to include rehabilitation of the Elkanemi Sport Complex and provision of sporting facilities to athletes.
Earlier, Mr Muhammed Bashir, the Secretary, Borno State Sports Council, said the Touch of Hope was presented as a ‘symbol of hope’ in the state.
Bashir explained that the touch would be carried by outstanding athletes, who would go round the metropolis, to enable residents witness its arrival in the state.
“This has been the usual practice, not just in Nigeria but the world over,” he said.
He also described sport as a catalyst to national development, adding that it helps to stem social vices by engaging the youth in meaningful activities.
The secretary called on the government to provide adequate fund to enable athletes from the state to participate in the 2019 National Sport Festival. (NAN)