By Emmanuel Afonne
Minister of Youth and Sports Development Solomon Dalung has urged Nigerian youths to channel their energy to sports rather than engaging in vices that will be hazardous to their health and society.
Dalung gave the advice in Abuja on Tuesday at the opening of registration for the 2019 National Anti-Corruption Marathon scheduled to hold in Abuja on Dec. 9.
The minister who was represented by Mr Bamiduro Olumide, an Assistant Director in the ministry noted that the youth can make a living in sports.
“I will like to commend you because the competition has something that this government is interested in.
“We are glad that we are going to be part of it and I believe that this event will stand the test of time.”
Coordinator of the event Mr Jacob Onu said about N10million would be carted away by athletes at the event which would coincide with the United Nations (UN) Anti-corruption Day.
Onu noted that winners of the male and female categories would pocket N1 million each, while first and second runners up would go home with N750,000 each and N500,000 each respectively.
He said arrangements had been made to use the platform, which is expected to attract about N50,000 athletes, to create awareness on government’s anti-corruption fight.
“It is aimed at eulogising the anti-corruption crusade of the Federal Government through the relevant anti-corruption agencies to mark the UN Anti-corruption Day which holds on Dec. 9 every year.
“The overall intention of the marathon is to create awareness on the danger of corruption to our existence as a people and society at large.
“The general public is free to participate and it’s taking place on Dec. 9 and coinciding with the UN day for anti-corruption.
“The registration is free and open to all citizens of Nigeria. The registration is also for those that did not register online in the previous edition.
“But those that registered online during the maiden edition in 2018 will be contacted and informed when to come for accreditation before the race in December,” Onu said.
According to Onu, the organiser is working in collaboration with the anti-corruption agencies like EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau and Kano State Anti-Corruption Commission.
Other partners are the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), National Orientation Agency (NOA) and Bureau of Public Service Reform.
The Rwandan High Commissioner to Nigeria, Amb. Stanislas Kamanzi, said his country was aligning itself to the marathon competition because of President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on corruption.
“I want to commend the government of Nigeria for having embarked on this important venture of eradicating corruption.
“Fighting corruption involves all hands to be on deck and that is what the marathon is all about – mobilising athletes and participants to key into the campaign against corruption.
“The talk about corruption doesn’t concern only those in positions whether private or government, but rather it involves the general public.
“When you see corruption and fail to denounce it, you are an accomplice; so, perspective of the marathon is to ensure that the messages are relayed properly as per what the issues are and the need to tackle them.
“Corruption generates poverty; we commend President Buhari and his government for initiating this corruption war.
“No wonder African Presidents and Heads of Government designated him as the champion for the fight against corruption in the continent; so, he deserves the support of all,” Kamanzi said.