The ongoing National Sports Festival being hosted by Edo State may have run into a hitch and could be shut down unceremoniously, if the federal government fails to salvage the situation before 12 noon on Thursday. A member of the media and communication sub-committee for the sports fiesta, tagged Edo 2020, Musa Ebomhiana, who dropped the hint, told news men on Wednesday that this followed the failure of the federal government to fulfill its promise of financial support for the games after series of postponements at the instance of the federal ministry of youth and sports.
Ebomhiana said the decision was taken after an emergency meeting of the Local Organising Committee (LOC) which has the State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu as chairman.
According to him, “You can quote me; we just finished from an emergency meeting of the LOC as I speak with you and we have decided to shutdown the festival by 12 noon tomorrow (Thursday). The Federal Government has reneged on their promise of assisting the State with funds and for that, we are closing the festival”.
Recall that the sports festival which was declared open at a colourful ceremony on Tuesday, had suffered three postponements due to COVID-19. And by the time it was finally rescheduled for April 2 to 14, Edo State government made it clear that it would only host it if the federal government supported the state. About two days to the commencement of the festival, there was widespread speculation that the venue of the games had been shifted to Abuja because of the inability of Edo State government to fund it. The sports ministry however denied any such move.
Late on Wednesday night, the LOC confirmed this development. In an official statement, it threatened to abruptly close the fiesta by mid-day Thursday should the federal government fail to honour its earlier promise of financial assistance.
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