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President Buhari declares National Sports Festival open in Delta in a colourful ceremony

The 21st National Sports Festival in Delta was declared open with an elaborate and colourful ceremony by the sports minister, Sunday Dare.

Sports minister, Sunday Dare declaring 21st National Sports Festival Open in Delta state

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the 21st National sports festival opened in delta state.

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The President who was represented by the minister of sports and youths development, Sunday Dare said that the festival is to promote National integration.

He added that the festival showed how sports is the tool to unite all Nigerians.

He said, "since the inception of the National Sports Festival in 1973, was one of the measures that the Federal Government introduced in the aftermath of the civil war to renew the fabric of our social cohesion and to promote our common destiny as a people, stressing that the architects of the Festival recognized the unifying power of sports and sought to create a platform that would bring young Nigerians together in an edifying contest of wits, will and skill.

The President said further that Sports must become business in the country to allow investments.

"This is one of the reasons why in the last two editions of the Festival, every restriction hitherto placed on the participation of Nigerians in the diaspora was expunged from the rule book, thus creating an opportunity for all Nigerians, wherever they are based in the world, to come home and participate in this biennial event.

"Sports sector he added, must become a business from which we will reap untold dividends in employment, manufacturing, investments, and increased national productivity," he said

Team Delta have started from where they left it Edo state as they become the first state to win the first gold medal of the festival on Wednesday in the cycling event.

Delta cyclists beat three Oyo, Plateau and Lagos to emerge winners in the 12km mixed relay.

Delta won in 35mins 41.84secs, Oyo picked silver in 37 minutes 29.84 and Plateau cyclists grabbed bronze in 39minutes 38.61secs. Lagos finished fourth in 40 minutes and 02.04secs.

Ogun state also recorded two gold on day one of the festival in Cycling 4 km Pursuit Team event.

Four Governors were present at the opening ceremony of the 21st National Sports Festival, the host State Governor, Dr Okowa of Delta state led Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State and Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal.

The Governors were thrilled with suspense artistry dance by step dancers and cultural troops, It was moments of magical and enchanting music.

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