National Sports Festival To Continue As FG Counters Edo Govt
The Federal Government says activities at the ongoing National Sports Festival (NSF) in Edo will continue as scheduled.
This is contrary to an earlier announcement by the Local Organising Committee (LOC) that the festival would be abruptly brought to an end by 12 noon on Thursday.
Musa Ebomhiana, Project Manager with the Media and Communications Sub-Committee of the festival’s LOC, said the decision was necessitated by Federal Government’s refusal to fulfill a promise.
He said the Federal Government failed to support the state with funds as promised, and the state government had no choice other than to shut down the festival.
Reacting, Ramon Balogun, Assistant Director Press Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, said in a Thursday morning statement there was no plan to call off the ongoing festival.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has clarified that the 20th National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, is going on as planned with competitions going on as scheduled.
“The Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee for the festival are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.
“The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City where the Festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo State Government would formally invite the Ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee for the festival. The Ministry has no such communication.
“For the records, the Edo State government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
“The Ministry has since been at work to secure the financial assistance which it believes is being processed. The MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival,” Balogun’s statement read.