After 19 years that the last sports festival was held in Edo State, the state governor, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki Wednesday lit the festival torch in Benin to herald the third in the series of what was intended to be a regular sports fiesta. The premier sports festival was held in 1981 with the last edition hosted in 2001. At a brief ceremony at the government house in Benin City, the state capital, Obaseki expressed his utmost pleasure and honour to light the Edo 2020 Sports Festival Torch. The festival is billed to open February 10 and close February 16, 2020. According to the government, it is expected to be a dress rehearsal for the 2020 National Sports Festival to be hosted by the state in March.
After the governor had performed the symbolic
exercise, he immediately handed over the Torch of Unity to the state Deputy
Governor, Philip Shaibu who in turn passed it to the state chairman of Edo State
Sports Commission, Dudu Orumen, a lawyer, who was to lead the sports team on the tour of the
state with the festival flame. Charging athletes in the state to compete for laurels
at the sports meet, Shaibu opined that the hosting of the third Edo State
Sports Festival would help to produce a physically strong, fit, and active team
to face other 35 States of the federation in the forthcoming National Sports
In his remark, Orumen said the torch would be taken round the state within two days beginning same day. The state sports festival, according to the sports commission chairman, was designed to test-run the sports facilities being put in place by the state government, as well as prepare the ground for, and confirm the readiness of the state for the 2020 National Sports Festival to be staged in Benin, between March 20 and April 4, 2020.