The Torch of Unity on Sunday landed in Bayelsa, ahead of the commencement of Delta 2022 National Sports Festival which runs from Nov. 28 to Dec. 10, in Asaba, Delta state.

The Torch of Unity arrived Yenagoa, the State capital, and was received, amid a brief reception ceremony, from Ekeki to the Peace Park, Ovom.

Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa, who received the flaming torch at the peace park, charged the state athletes to surpass the record set in the 2020 National Sports Festival in Benin City, Edo State, pointing out that he is committed to youth empowerment through sports.

Diri, while appreciating the federal government for sustaining the initiative since its maiden edition in 1973, explained that sports has remained a unifying platform for Nigerians, saying the government would continue to invest in it.

The Bayelsa helmsman stated that all outstanding stars that have written the name of the State in gold were discovered during National Sports Festivals, which showed that government’s investment in sports is yielding results.

He charged the state contingent to go to Asaba and display the virtues of understanding, oneness, peace and sportsmanship and ensure that they return home with the trophy.

In a remark, Coordinator Torch of Unity and Deputy Director, Ministry of Youths and Sports, Chief Amaka Ashiofu, noted that the torch signifies peace and unity for the country, stressing that sports is a tool that unites the world, irrespective of their religion.

Ashiofu thanked the governor for his continuous support in sports development which according to her has attracted global attention for the state.

Also, Director of Sports, Bayelsa State Sports Council, Sir Braveman Wodi, remarked that the contingent would consolidate on the achievements of the last edition, stressing that the athletes are fully prepared for the competition.

Wodi appreciated Gov. Diri and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, for making funds available to execute the task ahead, and expressed happiness that the unity torch has been received in Bayelsa. (NAN)