CDS Half Marathon: "I Will Restore the Glory Days of Military Sport"- General Musa Pledges As Fire Service, NSCDC Win Big

Stephan Joshua of the Federal Fire Service and Pam Deborah of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Male and Female categories respectively have emerged winners at the just concluded Chief of Defence Staff Half Marathon Championship competition which took place today, 9th November 2023 in Abuja.

The fourth edition of the half marathon is tagged "ENHANCING SECURITY AGENCIES COOPERATION THROUGH SPORTS".

The Athletes competed in the fouth Edition of the championship in two categories: the regular athletes and the Veterans category.

Stephen Joshua of the Federal Fire Service grabbed the Star Prize of Innoson SUV after a marathon of 1 hour 8mins and 00 seconds while Private Pam Deborah of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps with 1 hour, 22 mins 37 seconds grabbed the second vehicle donated by Made in Nigeria first class motors,  Innoson motors. Other winners in the male category are Private Gyang Irimiya from Nigerian Army (2nd position with 1hour 9mins 56 seconds, Auta Jigak from Federal Fire Service came 3rd with 1hour 10mins 12 seconds. 

In the female categories, other winners are Blessing Balis from NSCDC came 2nd with 1hour 23mons 50 seconds while John Patience came third with 1 hour,  23 mins 53 seconds. 

As for the veteran category,  Manga Mohammed from the Nigerian Army came first in the male category while Kareem Bolanle from NSCDC came first in the female category. Other winners are MWO Ayuba Dahiru from the Nigerian Army came 2nd,  Chohu Abu from Nigeria Correctional Service came 3rd in the male category.  The female category has MWO PTI Momoh from the Nigerian Navy came 2nd in the female category. In team event, Nigerian army came first,  Nigeria Police Force came 2nd while Nigeria Air Force came 3rd position. 

The regular marathoners covered a distance of the 21.1 kilometres for both male and female participants, starting from Duste Bus Stop Express way and terminating at the Sports Complex of Aguiyi Ironsi Cantonment and 5 kilometres for veterans 

Speaking at the epoch event, the Minister of Defence, Mohammad Abubakar Badaru, said the event intends to forge cohesion amongst all security agencies for enhanced understanding and economy of common efforts towards tackling the multi-dimensional Internal security challenges bedevilling the country.

The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dr. Abubakar Kana, said the occasion also provides a platform for the armed forces and other security agencies to interact with one another towards sustaining the good working relationship built and enjoyed over the years.

The minister, who highlighted the importance of physical fitness, said, “It is physically and mentally fit personnel that make the difference in combat and internal security operations”.

He reiterated that physical fitness remains the cornerstone of troops combat readiness as it “keeps service personnel in the top physical state that enables them to carry out and achieve assigned tasks. Overall, physical fitness is the basis for service personnel, good health and physical well-being.”

He continued, “The current security challenges confronting our dear nation are enormous and thus call for synergy and cooperation amongst armed forces as well as all the security agencies in our country. This explains why engagements such as this championship need to be sustained and new ones introduced to facilitate mutual interaction amongst personnel.

In his remarks, the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS General Christopher Gwabin Musa urged the participating Services and Security Agencies to see themselves as members of a larger security family. He said it is common knowledge that men of the Armed Forces and Security Agencies have in the past brought athletic glory to Nigeria through the number of international trophies they won. "It is the desire of the Defence Headquarters under my watch, to restore the glory days and as resources permit this competition will continue to be an annual event"

"You are significantly indispensable in the implementation of the security architecture of the country. Though playing different roles and approaching your jobs with different strategies, in matters of national security, you must appreciate and protect each other as partners and co-stakeholders in the overriding task of securing our dear nation, "he noted

General Musa added that the Defence Headquarters will continue to project the excellent relationship with other Security Agencies and seek areas for more collaboration and enhancing synergy of efforts.

"I have no doubt in my mind that by building bridges of understanding through healthy competition, the efforts and sacrifices in defending the country from external aggression or internal insurrection, will be a lot easier. In the light of this, the Half Marathon Championship will be used as a testing ground for the Armed Forces and Security Agencies Games to bring out our best to represent us in International Competitions." he stressed

General Musa opined that unity among security agencies will foster public trust in us and improve their appreciation of our enormous sacrifices in confronting these security challenges. I therefore, urge you to continue to be guided, at all times, by the sense of professionalism and spirit of sportsmanship in the discharge of your sacred duties.

"I would like to seize this opportunity to appreciate the Service Chiefs and Head of Security Agencies for making it possible for their Officers and Men to participate in this event. I also thank the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) and the Federal Ministry of Sports which has provided us with professional advice on how to organize this event and also make it of international standard

General Musa applauded the organizing committee for working tirelessly to make the event a successful one. 

"My regards also goes to our revered and esteemed sponsors and media partners who have made their services and products available to us and making sure the objective of this event is achieved. Let me also thank our veterans serving and retired who have taken time out of their tired schedule to honour our invitation; we appreciate your sacrifices for the nation."he said

"The Fouth Edition of the CDS Armed Forces and other Security Agencies Half Marathon Championship 2023 aimed at fostering the existing cordial relationship between the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security Agencies. 

"This event is without doubt coming at a very auspicious time when relationship between the AFN and the security agencies is ultimately required to overcome the enormity of security challenges currently facing Nigeria.

"The ability of sports and friendly competitions to foster this desired relationship can never be overemphasized thus our country and dear citizens will be the ultimate beneficiaries. This will also be a platform for participants to continue to build operational capacity that will enhance the peace and security of our dear nation."says the Chief of Defence Staff

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