This year’s ministry of Interior Games (MIGA 2018) began with a goodwill message from President Muhammadu Buhari, who tasked athletes in the country to give their best to promote unity.
The participating sides include Nigerian Police, the Nigeria Immigration Service, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp, the Nigeria Prisons Service, Federal Fire Service and Ministry of Interior.
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp are the defending champions, having won the 2016 edition, also in Kaduna.
Officials further disclosed that 1,784 athletes will compete for 218 gold, 218 silver and 242 bronze medals.
Athletes are expected to take part in 13 events that include athletics, badminton, basketball, football, handball, karate, squash, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, tug of war and volleyball.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at Ahmadu Bello Stadium, President Buhari, who was represented by Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, said MIGA Games would foster unity and harmony among interior organs.
Buhari stated: “We welcome the services and the Ministry of Interior to Kaduna State, as we promise to do all possible to make the Games a success.
“As we prepare for the 2019 general elections in February and March, it is important that peace and unity be our watchword.
“We appreciate the efforts of the Ministry of Interior and other security agencies, they have done a lot to ensure peace in Kaduna State.”
On his part, minister of interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd) said trhe event is in line with the commitment of Buhari’s administration to promote harmony and collaboration among the services.
“The Games will enable the services to share ideas and relate warmly on issues around us to impact positively on internal security,” Dambazau said.