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Physical fitness of troops only way to end insecurity-Defence minister

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From Molly Kilete, Abuja

The Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi, has described physical fitness as the bedrock of troops readiness in tackling the security challenges ravaging the country.
The minister who made this known the opening of the inter-service sports competition, organised by the Defence Headquarters (DHQ), said that physical fitness also help to keep service personnel in top shape and enable them effectively carryout their task of protecting the territorial integrity of the nation.
Represented by the Director Army Affairs, in the ministry of Defence, Mr Sunday Attah at the occasion, Gen Magashi, noted that the inter-service sports competition was designed to provide the platform for the services to interact with one another towards sustaining the good relationship built and enjoyed over the years.
While noting that the importance of physical fitness to an armed forces like Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized especially at this time when the country was battling various security challenges, the minister said only a physically and mentally fit personnel can curb the menace.
“Physical fitness therefore remains the cornerstone of troops combat readiness as it keeps Service Personnel in the top, physical state that enable them carryout/achieve assigned tasks.

“On the whole, physical fitness is the basis for service personnel’s good health and physical wellbeing,” he said.

Football Highlights

Magashi said the current security challenges confronting the nation were enormous and thus, calls for synergy and cooperation among the three services.

He said that avenues such as sports competition needed to be continuously created to facilitate mutual interaction amongst troops.

He commended troops for their efforts and sacrifices at tackling the security challenges as well as the DHQ for organising the sports competition.

He charged the participating athletes to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and strive to put in optimal performance towards winning laurels for their various services.

“Furthermore, let fair play be your watchword as you keep in focus, the objective for the organisation of this sports fiesta.

“I will not end this my remarks without assuring you all of the unflinching commitment of the President Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, at ensuring the best of welfare/working conditions for our armed forces personnel.

“He appreciates the huge efforts and great sacrifices you all are making to keep our dear country, Nigeria safe and prosperous,” he added.

Earlier in his address, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Lucky Irabor, said the event was aimed at strengthening the ties among troops, instilling discipline and readiness to serve a common cause in the armed forces.

The CDS, represented by Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, said that friendly sporting competition helps in fostering desired working relationship and promote synergy among the members of the armed forces.

This, according to him, is because fitness of the body and contentment of mind come more readily in the free atmosphere of games.

“More so, sports provide a basis for team work that is needed for troops to be able to function with a cohesion that is often called upon both during peacetime military engagements and combat operations.

“As we all know, warfare is a grueling experience and the ability to advance long distances with full combat gear through rugged terrains and to fight effectively requires strength, agility and stamina from troops.

“This can only be conditioned through sports and effective physical fitness training.

“As such, team sports have been found to provide both physiological and psychological benefits that reduce stress, illness and injuries especially during operations.

“Accordingly, physical fitness and mental alertness of personnel have become key considerations for the armed forces to meet increasing demands of current and emerging threats,”.

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