General news

Edo threatens to shut down 20th NSF Thursday



By Igbaugba Ehigimetor

The Edo government, host of Benin‘s ongoing 20th National Sports Festival (NSF), will end the 13-day event before noon Thursday, an official said on Wednesday evening.

Musa Ebomhiana, project manager with the media and communications subcommittee of the festival’s local organizing committee (LOC), said the decision was necessitated by the federal government’s refusal to keep a promise.

He said the federal government had not backed the state with the funds pledged and the state government had no choice but to shut down the festival.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the decision was taken after an emergency meeting of the local organizing committee (LOC) of the festival headed by Deputy Governor of Edo, Philip Shaibu.

“You can quote me that we just finished an emergency LOC meeting, and as I speak to you, we have decided to close the festival at noon tomorrow (Thursday).

“The decision was made because the federal government reneged on its promise to help the state with funds.

“For this reason, we are closing the festival,” Ebomhiana said.

He did not disclose how the LOC would shut down the festival, however.

NAN was unable to obtain a reaction from festival organizers, the Main Organizing Committee (MOC), to this development at the time of writing.

He was also unable to get a reaction from the owners of the festival, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

John Joshua-Akanji, an assistant to Youth and Sports Development Minister Sunday Dare, however responded immediately that he was contacted.

The Minister’s Special Media Assistant urged NAN to contact MOC Secretary Peter Nelson, who however could not be reached.

NAN reports that Edo had requested financial support from the federal government to host the other states of the federation and the CTF.

He had articulated his request on the inconveniences caused by the several postponements of the festival which had been billed previously for March 2020.

The postponements were due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rescheduled festival had started on April 2 and lasted until April 14, and if it was closed on Thursday, it would only be on its seventh day. (NOPE


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