The Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Hajia Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has inaugurated the Main Organising Committee (MOC) and the Local Organising Committee ( LOC) of the Abuja International Marathon (AIM) which will hold on Saturday, December 17, in the nation’s capital.
Inaugurating the committee, the minister called on the members of the committees comprising staff of Unicentral Group, the organisers of the race and some staff of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) to organise a successful race that will live in the minds of the minds for a very long time. The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary FCTA, Mr Olusade Adesola, said the inauguration was as a result of long journey of planning between the organisers and the FCTA which has the support of the Minister of FCT, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello and the Minister of State, Hajia Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu.
The minister said the power of sports cannot be overemphasised as it is a strong instrument in building relationships, career and network. She assured that proper security arrangements have been put in place for a hitch free race saying the cannot afford to fail in their assignment.
“We are inaugurating the MOC and the LOC which has signified the critical aspect of the marathon. We have put everything into this race as we expect a very successful competition. We are expecting athletes from within and outside the continent to participate and we cannot afford to fail. Security arrangements have been put up to prevent any form of distractions. We are ready to showcase the culture and hospality of the Nigerian people to the outside world. I call on you to organise a race that everyone will be proud of so that when you look back in the next five years, you will be proud to say I was part of the inaugural edition.
“We are practically into the flagging of the Abuja International Marathon to be hosted by Unicentral and the FCTA through our Social Development Secretariat (SDS). Sports is a strong instrument in building relationships. The power of sports cannot be overemphasised as it is a strong instrument in building relationships, career and network. Our partner, Unicentral, has done a lot to make sure that the program will be successful. We have planned well for this and we did not want to fail.”
Reacting on behalf of the organisers and members, the Race Director, Olukayode Thomas, said 35,000 runners are expected to participate in the race. He however added that 35 elite runners, 80 top runners from around the world have been invited. He thanked the FCTA for their support. The Acting Direct of Sports FCT, Istifanus Luka, in his remarks said the race will impact positively on the youths as planned have been concluded to make five students, three from secondary schools and two from the primary to participate in 5km leg of the race.
The 22-man member MOC/LOC team is headed by the FCT permanent secretary. The Abuja International Marathon will cover 42 km.