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Fashola Receives International Olympic Committee Award, Queen's Baton Relay For Commonwealth Games In Glasgow
• Advocates synergy among Commonwealth nations to improve quality of life of citizens

Jan 7, 2014 - Barely a week after being named one of the 100 Top Global Thinkers for 2013 by a global personality assessment organization, Lo Spazio della Politica (LSDP) by, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), was Tuesday again honoured as one of five global recipients of the International Olympic Committee Award for his contributions to Sports development.

The Award was presented to the Governor at the Lagos House, Ikeja, by President of the Nigerian Olympic Committee, Alhaji Sani Ndanusa, at a colourful occasion which also witnessed the passing of the Queen's Baton Relay for this year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow to the Governor.

Speaking at the event which also had in attendance the British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Peter Carter and Leader of the Commonwealth Baton Relay Committee and Legal Adviser of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mr. Sharad Rao, Governor Fashola advocated a collaborative effort by leaders of Commonwealth nations aimed at improving the quality of life of the citizens arguing that countries that make up the Commonwealth were large enough to make an impact on this planet outside Sports.

Governor Fashola, who noted that nations of the Commonwealth constitute a sizeable demographic footprint on this planet, declared, "There are much more areas where we can impact our planet, where we could work together and develop our communities and improve the quality of life of our people and also the totality of their happiness beyond Sports".

Receiving the Baton, the Governor expressed joy that athletes from the State are training to be eligible for selection as part of the nation's team to participate in the Games coming up in July this year warning athletes of other countries of the Commonwealth, but particularly the Kenyan distance runners, that they should be prepared to contend with their counterparts from Nigeria who are coming to break their monopoly of that sport.

"Perhaps the Kenyan delegation should take a very strong note of warning that we have been working very hard in the middle and long distances, so if they intend to have some monopoly there, they should reckon with us", the Governor said.

He described the period of the Games as "very refreshing moment" as member states of the Commonwealth would gather together in Glasgow in July to interact in Sporting activities adding that Lagos athletes would acquit themselves appropriately and compete to become part of the contingent that would adorn the colours of Nigeria at the Games.

Receiving the International Olympic Committee Award from the NOC President, Alhaji Ndanusa, the Governor said the award rightly belongs to members of the team which he leads adding, "This really is not my award. It belongs to all members of the team".

The team, according to Governor Fashola, includes "the Commissioner who still serves, Mr. Enitan Oshodi, his predecessor, Prince Ademola Adeniji-Adele with whom we started this journey, the Principal Special Assistant on Grassroots Sports development and also the Permanent Secretary in the Sports Ministry, coaches, athletes, the supporters club and others".

Earlier, in his opening remarks, British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Mr. Peter Carter, described the Commonwealth Games as "the expression of the values of the Commonwealth itself, friendship between nations, mutual understanding, the values of human rights, of democratic accountability and so on".

"The Games express the friendship that exist between the countries, the friendly competitions that exist between them and the opportunity to bring people together in an atmosphere of mutual understanding and getting to know each other and understanding each other better", he said.

Noting that the baton symbolizes a strong message from the Queen to all the Commonwealth countries, the Deputy High Commissioner explained further, "The Baton-passing exercise is really an important part of the Commonwealth Games. The baton visits every country of the Commonwealth in the month leading up to the Games".

"So, it is an expression of the countries involved in the Games coming together, it is expression of friendship and the act of passing the baton from one holder to another, from one country to another is an expression of commitment to the friendship, to working together, to playing together in the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship", he said.

Spiced up by music supplied by the Nigerian Football Supporters Club led by its President-General, Dr. Rauf Ladipo, highlight of the occasion which was also attended by the Commissioner for Sports, Youths and Social Development, Mr. Enitan Oshodi, was the presentation of the International Olympic Committee Award to the Governor by President of the Nigerian Olympic Committee, Alhaji Sani Ndanusa and passing of the Commonwealth Queen's Baton Relay to the Governor by Leader of the Commonwealth Baton Relay Committee and Legal Adviser of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mr. Sharad Rao.


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