… Edo seeks March, April dates
The Edo State government has dissolved all sub-committees set up to run the organisation of the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF), Edo 2020, due to the federal government’s to come up with a definite date for the competition.
The dissolution of the committees was contained in a letter dated Dec. 9 by the secretary of the festival’s local organising committee, Dr Emmanuel Igbinosa, in Benin yesterday.
“I am directed by the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu who doubles as the LOC chairman for the festival, to inform you of the dissolution of all committees with immediate effect”, the letter conveying the dissolution order stated.
It would be recalled that the festival, earlier scheduled to hold between March 22 and April 1, 2020, had suffered several postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and only recently it was rescheduled again to January 3 to 18, 2021, before finally being put off indefinitely last week.
Meanwhile, Shuaibu has said the state can’t host the Festival in January next year because of the festivities and the need for the athletes to prepare well for the competition.
“We can’t host the National Sports Festival January 3-17, 2021. It is not feasible for us. Not because we are not ready infrastructure and logistics wise, but because it would be coming two days after the New Year festivities.”
“We thought we would have been put in the mood the way it was done before the date is fixed. But since they have fixed the 3rd of January, fine for them. But to us, we feel they are not sensitive again to the environment.
“We have Christmas and the New Year celebrations. So they are telling us to bring our athletes and two days after the New Year celebration, they start the tournament. For us, that again is insensitive to the feelings of our people.
“The National Council of Sports the highest decision making as far as the tournament like this is concerned and they also need the host state to be part of the date they are fixing. But the top-down approach is what they have done again”.
The deputy governor now wants the Task Force to have a rethink of the proposed date to March or April in order to enable a good outing through adequate preparation by the athletes.