Jacob Onu, the national coordinator of the national anti-corruption marathon, said that President Muhammadu Buhari will on December 9 in Abuja finalize plans for the inauguration of the 2019 edition of the race.
Onu told reporters in Abuja on Tuesday that more than 4,000 participants would show up for this year’s event.
He said the race to be held in conjunction with the United Nations International Day Against Corruption (UNIDAC) was intended to raise awareness of Buhari’s fight against corruption.
He also said that on the same day, a national youth and student summit on the fight against corruption and drug abuse would be held at Abuja University in Abuja, where prominent Nigerians would provide documents.
“The fight against corruption is not a single battle, but a continuous battle that requires perseverance and resistance; This is the reason for the initiative.
“The marathon is symbolic because, without perseverance and endurance, you can not start and finish a marathon race. This initiative becomes the world’s first.
“Just as President Buhari said that” if we do not kill corruption, corruption will kill us “, ours is to raise awareness of the dangers of corruption for the lives of our citizens, especially young people.
“We want it to be maintained over time and improved in subsequent editions. It should also be a platform to encourage and train participating athletes.
“More athletes have registered to participate and registration is free and is still ongoing at www.nationalanticorruptionmarathon.org.ng,” Onu said.
According to him, the mechanism was put in place to ensure that the next marathon meets the standards required by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now World Athletics, to recognize and then add the marathon to its schedule. NetBet Nigeria fans have the same expectations.
Onu also explained that participants had to go home with cash prizes ranging from N1 million to N20,000 because the participants would have their name inscribed as the vanguard in the fight against corruption through the sensitization that would create the marathon
Sports and Youth Development Minister Sunday Dare said the anti-corruption message can be more rooted in people’s minds through activities like this one.
Dare, who was represented by Ademola Are, director of basic sports development, said it was necessary to participate in races like this to help Nigerians achieve physical fitness.
This, he said, would reduce the country’s national health budget.
“We do not just participate in races, the sport has its various benefits; Aside from the money the winners will earn, you will become healthier as there are many benefits to being in good physical shape.
“Talking about the fight against corruption is like an executive law and it’s important to make sure people remember that something like that is happening in society.
“Therefore, it is a great joy for the ministry to be associated with the Fair Play International Sports Agency and other partners to ensure that Nigerians participate in the marathon races.
“We may not be able to completely eliminate corruption and our own idea of corruption is money; It’s not just money, because we are guilty of corruption in one way or another, even in our different offices.
“When you deny to your subordinate what the office is supposed to get or use to get what you should not get, it’s also corruption, so by participating in this program, the conscience will continue to turn,” said Dare.
Dare has asked individuals and businesses to join the government in meeting his established goals of building a nation of which Nigerians are proud.