The International Day of Sports for Peace is aimed at highlighting the potential of sports to promote global solidarity.
In commemoration of the United Nations Day on Sports for Peace and Development in Nigeria, some school children took the playing field for a “Football Match for Peace,” on Friday, April 4.
The match, which was played between LEA School, Utako and LEA School, Zone 2, ended 1-0 in favour of LEA Utako.
With the continuous attack on Nigerians by the insurgents in the North-East, especially with the murder of about 22 children in February by the dreaded Boko Haram sect, the school children thought it very relevant to ask for peace using sport.
Isah Ahmed, a Primary 6 school student of LEA Utako, urged the Federal Government to put a stop to the killings and find a way to stop Boko Haram tormenting Nigerians.
“I want to beg the government to put a stop to the killing of school children. Boko Haram should also, please, stop torturing the people; please, I beg,” he said.
The International Day of Sports for Peace is aimed at highlighting the potential of sports to advance peoples’ life and promote global solidarity.
The event coordinator, an award winning journalist, Aderonke Ogunleye, said she organised the event because she believed there is power in sports for development.
“Sports is a powerful tool for development. It helps in spreading messages of peace, driving social change and meeting the millennium development goals, and we equally use it to ask for peace in Nigeria. I believe in a peaceful nation, a peaceful Nigeria and it can be echoed through this football match,” she said
Speaking about the event, she said the football match was a successful one.
“‘The school children were all happy with what they did. Being peace ambassadors made them happy. I join millions of Nigerians to tell all the terrorist groups to stop the attack and embrace peace,” she said.
Eugene Igbudu, a representative of the UNAIDS Country director, Camara Bilali, at the event, also said UNAIDS is on a road to educate for peace.
“It is our own way of bringing peace to the nation. We are here to educate children and Nigerians on the need for peace through activities like sports, which is a universal language. This way we can achieve peace and achieve all our goals and objectives, it is a developmental process,” he said.
The event was sponsored by the Nigeria Football Federation, the Nigerian Red cross, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF and John Utaka Foundation.
Ms. Ogunleye thanked the partners for helping bring the event to fruition.
“We thank all our partners for being part of this remarkable event. It actually shows that they are socially responsible, and also showed their contributions to the society. We are indeed grateful and I wish them all the best,” she said.
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