Fashola Receives Torch Of Unity For Sports Festival, Urges Lagosians To Come Out En Masse To Welcome Visitors
Nov 24, 2012 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN ) on Saturday received the Torch of Unity for the 18th National Sports Festival being hosted by the State after its journey round the 35 States of the Federation, urging Lagosians to come out en masse to welcome the sports men and women as well as all visitors coming to the State for the Games.
The Governor who spoke at the open lawns of the Lagos House, Marina after receiving the Torch from the South West Coordinator of the National Sports Festival, Mr Steve Olarinoye urged the residents to also support the athletes so that the games will achieve its real objective of discovering new talents that will lead the nation back to her pre-eminent position in global sports.
"I urge Lagosians to come out en masse to welcome our visitors, support the athletes so that the games will achieve its real objective of discovering new talents that will lead us back to our pre-eminent position in global sports", he said.
He reiterated that Lagos is ready to host the competition, adding that the arrival of the Torch in Lagos signifies that it is just a few hours to go before the formal opening of the Games.
Governor Fashola expressed his pleasure to have received the Torch of Unity which he also described as a Torch of competition and Torch of sports development, adding that it is an additional delight that the sports festival is returning to Lagos where it all started from.
The Governor who also commended the efforts of the Local Organizing Committee and the Main Organizing Committee for the games said the novelty of the Torch of Unity coming in to Lagos through the waters is one of the innovations that have been brought in to characterize the organization of the Festival.
Speaking earlier, the South West Coordinator of the National Sports Festival who brought the Torch into the premises of Lagos House, Marina, Mr Steve Olarinoye and handed it over to Governor Fashola said the Torch handover is quite unique because Lagos hosted the first National Sports Festival and is hosting it again, adding that something similar happened in 2004 in Athens, Greek when Athens received the Olympic Torch after the first Olympics which started in Athens, Greek in 1886.
He added that it was also very novel and marvelous that the Torch of Unity passed through the waters which have never happened before in the history of sports in Nigeria and especially the National Sports Festival.
Mr Olarinoye recalled that the Torch of Unity left Abuja on September 29th when Mr President flagged it off and has so far moved round 35 states arriving from Abeokuta, Ogun State to Lagos which is the 36th and host State.
The Deputy Governor who is also the Chairperson of the Local Organizing Committee, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire received the Torch from Governor Fashola and said it will move from the Lagos House, Marina to all parts of Lagos namely Epe, Badagry, Ikeja, Ikorodu and finally arrive at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on the opening day.
The Deputy Governor thereafter handed over the Torch to one of the State athletes as it began its journey round the state.
The ceremony was witnessed by some members of the State Executive Council namely the Commissioner for Youth, Sports and Social Development, Mr Enitan Oshodi, Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye and Information and Strategy, Mr Aderemi Ibirogba, Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr Disun Holloway and members of the LOC including the secretary, Dr Kweku Tandoh, state athletes and volunteers.