*The above photograph shows the President, His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan receiving the Queen’s Baton from the Honourable Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi at the State House yesterday, 6 January, 2014. The event announces commencement of preparations for the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. –
President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday in Abuja charged the Team Nigeria to the 2014 Commonwealth Games holding in Glasgow, Scotland, to put in outstanding performance for best results.
Jonathan spoke when he received the Glasgow 2014 Queens’ Baton Relay from representatives of the Commonwealth Games Federation, Mr Sharad Rao, at the Forecourt of the Presidential Villa.
The Queens’ Baton relay, which will travel to 70 Commonwealth nations and territories over a period of 288 days symbolises a curtain raiser to the 20 Commonwealth games in Glasgow.
It was launched on October 9, 2013, by Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace at a ceremony where she placed her message to the Commonwealth.
President Jonathan in a remark, said the relevant sporting authority should ensure that a compact and powerful team of athletes were sent to the Glasgow events.
He said Nigerians were expecting a better performance at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games than the outings of 1994 and 2010 where 11 gold medals were won, respectively.
“As you probably are aware, Nigeria, a committed member of the Commonwealth has participated in all but four of the commonwealth games since 1950 even before our independence as a nation in 1960.
“Our first gold medal was won in the high jump at the British Empire and Commonwealth Games as it was then called in Vancouver, Canada, in 1954. Nigeria won a total of seven medals: one gold, two silver and three bronze in Vancouver.
“Our most memorable outing was the 1994 and 2010 games in Victoria Canada and Delhi, India, where we won eleven gold medals each. This period you will all agree with me has been a glorious time in our sporting activities. Nigerians are, therefore, expecting a much better performance in Glasgow”.
The president and his Vice, Namadi Sambo, in turn jogged down to hand over the baton to the FCT Minister, Sen. Bala Mohammed, who in turn handed it over to his Minister of State, Olajumoke Akinjide.
The Queen Baton relay, which is expected to travel across 19 African countries, would leave Nigeria on Tuesday. The touring ceremony would be terminated at the opening ceremony of the games in Glasgow on 23 July.
The Commonwealth Games is an international multi-sports events involving athletes from the Commonwealth Nations and territories.
The event was first held in 1930 and has taken place every four years ever since, except that of 1942 and 1946 which were cancelled.
The 2014 edition, which is the 20th series, will hold in Glasgow, Scotland, from 23 July 23 to 4 August.