20TH NSF, EDO 2020 POSTPONED INDEFINITELY
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, has announced the postponement of the 20th National Sports Festival, tagged Edo 2020, which was scheduled to hold in Benin City, March 20th through April 2rd 2020.
The statement released by Mr Gabriel Aduba, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, which announced the indefinite postponement of the biannual Sports fiesta, reads, ‘President Mohammadu Buhari has approved the postponement of the National Sports Festival, Edo 2020 as a precautionary move against the Coronavirus’COVID-19’
‘This decision followed the close monitoring and updates on COVID-19 in Nigeria and across the world. Following consultations with the Federal Ministry of Health and the host state of the 20th National Sports Festival – the Edo State Government.’
‘The Ministry however notes the progress made towards delivering a world class sporting fiesta as embodied by Edo 2020 and the huge resources so far expended towards provision of world class facilities for hosting the festival by the Edo state government.’
‘Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is not presently affecting Nigeria on the scale it is ravaging other countries of the world, the Ministry is however in agreement with these aforementioned critical stakeholders that the wellbeing of our athletes and sports loving Nigerians is of paramount importance.’
‘It is In the interest of the safety of Nigerians therefore that the Ministry has postponed the National Sports Festival, Edo 2020, until a later date to be communicated shortly.’ Mr Gabriel Aduda stated.
Similarly, the host Edo State Government through the Deputy Governor of the State, Rt Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, who is the Chairman of the festival’s Local Organising Committee, LOC, has confirmed the postponement of the Festival.
LOC Chairman, added, ‘the postponement has become necessary as a result of the shutdown of socio-economic activities in various countries across the world due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
‘Although there is no pandemic of the disease in Nigeria and the Edo State Government is fully prepared to host the games and handle eventualities that may arise as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus and any other disease, we have decided to err on the side of caution and also show sensitivity to the plight of other countries dealing with the challenge.’
He he further stated that the details on the new date for the National Sports Festival will be communicated after due consultation with the relevant government agencies.’
Meanwhile, Delta State, the festival’s defending champion, has suspended her camping preparatory to the games.
The state which has been in camp for close to four weeks announced the the suspension of the camping following the postponement of the festival.