The Olympics’ Torch has arrived Nigeria as part of the countdown to the London 2012 Games.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Giles Lever, said the torch represented peace wherever it goes.
He said it symbolised the power of sports to overcome divisions between countries and religions and “to bind them all together in celebration of hope and an honest competition.’’
Lever added that the binding idea originated in Greece to suspend wars during the Olympic Games.
“During the period of the Olympics, all wars and hostilities will be suspended; athletes will be free to travel from different territories to come to the games and compete in peace.
“As far as the torch burnt there was peace and a cessation of hostility between all of the different states and cities,’’ he noted.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the torch is a symbol of peace and an embodiment of the Olympic Truce, which promotes the ideals of peace and conflict resolution.
It promotes the principle that individuals sportsmen compete against each other without the burden of politics, religion or racism.
In a keynote address, the Director- General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, Dr. Joseph Golwa, pointed out that sharing sports experiences enhances unity among participants.
“The display of excitement, passion and emotion expressed during sporting activities indicates that sports has the potential for promoting equality, bridging differences in nationality, religion, language and culture.’’
Golwa said that because sport is a tool for promoting peace due to its widely acclaimed acceptance, it should be intensified.