Hauwa Kulu-Akinyemi, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee for the Queen’s Baton Relay, on Tuesday said that the event which would hold from April 1 to April 5 was for oneness.
Kulu-Akinyemi told a news conference at the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) office, Lagos that the event was to create awareness on the forthcoming 2018 Commonwealth Games.
She said that this would make the fifth consecutive time the Queen’s Baton Relay would hold in Nigeria.
“The relay is a traditional curtain raiser to the Commonwealth Games of friendship,’’ she said.
The Queen’s Baton will arrive in Nigeria on April 1 and depart on April 5 to Kenya. The Queen’s Baton will be accompanied by a five-man International Olympic Committee (IOC) team.
Kulu-Akinyemi added that due to logistics, this time around, the Queen’s Baton would be celebrated only in Lagos.
“Coincidentally, Lagos State had hosted the 2002 and 2014 editions of the event.
“We have also lined up series of activities to celebrate the Queen’s Baton once it arrives in our borders,’’ she said and announced the activities for the event.
“There will be a rousing reception at the airport on April 1; on April 3, the Baton will be presented to his Excellency, the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode.
“At the National Stadium, Lagos, other activities such as city float, leading a relay pack of past Commonwealth athletes, Olympians and Paralympians from National Stadium through Western Avenue to Ojuelegba and back to the stadium.
“On April 4, the Queen’s Baton Relay will undertake a visit to NOC partner schools, Greensprings Schools, Lekki and on return, pay a courtesy visit to the His Royal Majesty, Oba Saheed Ademola, Elegushi, the Elegushi of Ikateland.
“There will also be a photo shoot at the Ikoyi link bridge and a visit to the British Council,’’ she said.
Kulu-Akinyemi urged the media to join in celebrating the Queen’s Baton Relay in Nigeria and also use it as a platform for awareness and generating corporate and public support for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
On security for the Queen’s Relay Baton, Kulu-Akinyemi said that all security measures were in place to ensure nothing went wrong with the Baton.
“Disclosing how it will be guided will defeat the essence of protecting it,’’ she said.
The Queen’s Baton Relay’s first visit to Nigeria was in April 2002 ahead of the Manchester Commonwealth Games, followed by 2005, 2009 and 2014.
The Queen’s Baton Relay is to Commonwealth Games what the Olympic Torch Relay is to the Games and this is to celebrate upcoming Games.
The Baton Relay was first introduced as part of the Commonwealth Games at the 1958 Games in Cardiff, Wales.
The Baton has been celebrated across nations of the Commonwealth usually one year to the opening ceremony of the Games.
The Gold Coast 2018 edition of the Queen’s Baton Relay was officially launched on March 13 to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at the Buckingham Palace, London.
Supporters of the event are the Lagos State Government, British Council, Australia High Commission, The British High Commission and Greensprings Schools.