Edo State Government, hosts of the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival, on Wednesday ordered the 13-day event to be suspended.
The State specifically announced that sporting activities would ground to a halt by noon on Thursday.
According to the Project Manager with the Media and Communications Sub-Committee of the festival’s Local Organising Committee, Musa Ebomhiana, the decision was necessitated by Federal Government’s refusal to fulfil 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.
This decision WuzupNigeria reports was taken after an emergency meeting of the festival’s Local Organising Committee headed by the Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.
“You can quote me that we just finished from an emergency meeting of the LOC, and as I speak with you we have decided to shut down the festival by 12 noon tomorrow (Thursday).
“The decision was arrived at because the Federal Government has reneged on its promise to assist the state with funds.
“Because of that, we are closing the festival,” Ebomhiana stated.
He however did not disclose how the LOC was going to shut down the festival.
WuzupNigeria could not get the reaction of the festival organisers, the Main Organising Committee (MOC), to this development as at the time of this report.
It could not also get the reaction of the festival’s owners, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.
John Joshua-Akanji, an aide of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, however, responded immediately he was contacted.
The Special Assistant on Media to the minister urged journalists to get across to the MOC’s Secretary, Peter Nelson, who could however not be reached.
Edo had solicited financial support from the Federal Government for it to play host to other states of the federation and the FCT.
It had hinged its demand upon the inconveniences brought about by the several postponements of the festival which was earlier billed for March 2020.
The postponements were a result of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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