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20th NSF opens with display of Edo culture

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By Igbaugba Ehigimetor

The opening ceremony of the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) on Tuesday night in Benin was a sight to see, reports the Nigeria News Agency (NAN).

It was a demonstration of the rich culture and traditions of Edo, adorned with the color and glamor for which Edo has always been known.

The ceremony which took place at the renovated Samuel Ogbemudia stadium was witnessed by several personalities.

Among them were Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare, and Minister of Health Osagie Ehanire.

The guest list also included senators representing the state’s three senatorial districts.

They were entertained by cultural troupes from Benin and music stars like Timi Dakolo and Fireboy.

NAN reports that a fireworks show, which lasted
nearly five minutes, announced the official opening of the festival whose activities had actually started since Sunday.

Earlier on Tuesday, the state’s deputy governor, Philip Shaibu, welcomed the athletes and their officials to “the cradle of culture and the traditional ground of sport in the country.”

Shaibu, who is the chairman of the festival’s local organizing committee (LOC), said the festival was an indication that the sport was back home.

“Edo is the cradle of culture. There are only two kingdoms in the world, the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Benin.

“Please appreciate the hospitality of the people and have a pleasant stay in Edo.”

President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the ceremony by Youth and Sports Development Minister Sunday Dare.

While speaking, Dare said sport has become a business with the benefits of job creation and Nigerian youth should take full advantage.

The festival oath by the participating athletes and officials was taken respectively by Henry Aghomoh of the Nigerian Karate Federation and Mohammed Bashir of the Cycling Federation.

The 20th NSF, which had suffered several postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be officially closed on April 14. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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