By Jude Atupulazi
Anambra Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, Saturday, August 12, led hundreds of sports enthusiasts on a walk and run exercise to mark this year’s International Youth Day.
To mark the day, Governor Soludo, accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Nonye Soludo, and members of the State Executive Council, combined a run and walk session, spanning 6.2 kilometres at the Awka Township Stadium to celebrate the occasion.
Governor Soludo who also used the occasion to launch the Sports Economy in the state, said that sports was health, wealth and the future.
His words, ‘Anambra Youths, it’s your day. We want to begin the day by demonstrating our youthfulness.
‘Healthy youths will make for a healthy nation. Run and walk for life.
The Sports Economy is a big economy. Sports is wealth and health. Sports is the future.We are mainstreaming the concept of healthy living in this administration and make it a routine.
‘Anambra is a youthful state, same with Nigeria. The median age for Africa is less than 19 years. And so, it is a very youthful society.
‘Our youths are not just our future, but our today and tomorrow. This is an idea that we want to mainstream in Anambra.’
Governor Soludo also called on the youth to reject drugs, cultism, land grabbing, touting and other social vices, pointing out that the people of the state were known for their industry, doggedness and integrity.
‘We are reviving the School Sports Programmes and Interschool Sports Competitions in Anambra. Soon the Anambra Solution Football Team will be born. Our government is one for the youth and by the youth,’ he said.
The Governor spoke about other programmes under his watch, including the One Youth, Two Skills Initiative; among others, and urged the youth to acquire multiple skills.
For his part, the Commissioner for Youth Development, Mr. Patrick Aghamba, said the day was to celebrate the youth around the world, pointing out that the Governor’s wife had already started implementing the healthy living with the Nonye Initiative to drive home the message.
The Commissioner also added that the Governor had taken the lead, creating and implementing youth policies.
The Chairman of Anambra Sports Development Commission, Mr. Patrick Onyedum, described the 2023 Youth Day Celebration in Anambra as innovative.
Other top government officials who joined the Governor and his wife to participate in the event included, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim; the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Somtochukwu Udeze; the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu; the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi; the Chief Protocol officer, Hon Chinedu Nwoye; the Head of Service, Barrister Theodora Igwegbe; the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Barr. JPC Anaeto; members of the State Executive Council, as well as hundreds of Anambra youth.