By Mary BASSEY, Investigator Correspondent, Lagos/
LAGOS- FLAG Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral BJ Gbasa has described sports as a bridge builder; fostering mutual relationship and interaction between persons of diverse discipline.
The FOC West boss dropped the hint at the closing ceremony of the 6th annual FOC golf tournament which held at the Dolphin golf club in navy town Ojo, Lagos.
Admiral Gbasa specifically pointed out that the game of golf was that demanding high level intellect, focus and patience from golfers adding that these key elements were organic to good governance system and the survival of a nation.
He said, “The objective of the tournament is to use the game of golf to foster interaction and understanding between our civilian and military communities for national cohesion and development amidst prevailing security concerns in the country.
“The dynamics of our realities today has shown that no single individual or organization has the magic wand for the myriads of challenges the
contemporary world presents. We live in a world that is increasingly difficult to succeed in any undertaking if you fail to forge alliance. And so, one of the age tested means of building bridges is through the use of sport because of its important role in the life of an individual, organization and nation.
While golf is considered a sport of the elite, I think it is more of a cerebral or mind game than a physical game as it looks to be. And so for the golfers, the play is, of course, to win against himself more than anything else.”
Continuing, Rear Admiral Gbasa added, “For me, winning against oneself is eliminating one’s handicap or what I will rather call conquering oneself. Anyone who cannot conquer himself/herself, cannot become selfless. Selflessness is a virtue at the core of military service.
He further assed, “I have also discovered that the game of golf amongst other things help imbibe 3 basic characters which are humility, empathy and patience. If you are not humble you cannot serve, if you cannot empathize, you cannot foster friendship and if you are not patient, you may find it difficult to be loyal.
These are all values essential for duty and service to the nation. Thus, every opportunity and avenue to promote these qualities is considered a worthy course to me; hence my commitment to the Dolphin Golf Club through sponsoring this tournament.
“As you may already be aware, the WNC has been working tirelessly at ensuring that crimes are brought to the barest minimum within the Command Area of
Responsibility. Accordingly, all efforts have been geared towards achieving this mandate. With all sense of modesty, I can say that the Command has recorded
considerable success in this regard.
There are however still room for improvement. One of the ways we can bring about this is to forge our relationships with all stakeholders beyond the traditional interagency collaboration we are used to. Let me therefore use this opportunity to congratulate our golfers for the spirit of sportsmanship they have displayed in the last 3 days of the tournament.
Your conduct and zeal have been exemplary. Beyond the prizes to be worn, I know that comradeships that can stand the test of time must have been built and I hope it is sustained over time. To other members and well-wishers, let me reassure you that the Western Naval Command will always be there to provide necessary conducive environment for legitimate activities to thrive in our Area of Responsibility. I must therefore appreciate the CNS for providing direction on which all our activities in the Command are hinged.
Furthermore, let me appreciate our sponsors and supporters for this tournament. Without your generosity, this tournament could not have been a success. I will also like to thank the Organizers for their tireless effort at ensuring that the event was held hitch free. Lastly, let me commend members of the Press who always respond positively to our invitations, we say thank you. Be rest assured that the Western Naval Command will continue to partner with you for the good of our Nation.”
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