Edo State government has threatened to abruptly end the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival in Benin City today if the Federal Government does not release the funds it promised the host state.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) headed by the state’s Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, after an emergency meeting last night, alleged that the state was forced to take the painful step due to lack of funds.
Project Manager, Media & Communications, Edo 2020, Ebomhiana Musa said, “the Local Organising Committee, Edo 2020 regrets to announce that it will end the games abruptly today, Thursday, April 8, 2021 for lack of funds.
“Rising from an emergency meeting this evening, the LOC says it has to take this hard decision due to lack of funds having expended its reserves to kick start the games.”
Musa alleged that the LOC was yet to get a penny from the funds the Federal Government promised the host.
“Regrettably, the FG is yet to redeem its pledge to support us as the host state financially for the cost of postponements.
“So, we are left with no option than to end the games at noon on Thursday, April 8, 2021,” observed the terse statement signed by the LOC spokesman shortly after its meeting last night.”
All efforts to reach the Special Adviser Media to the Minster of Sports, John Joshua Akanji, to respond to the allegations and threats have proved abortive.
The Edo 2020 National Sports Festival which started last weekend had earlier suffered four postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic which halted all sporting activities.
It was officially declared open on Tuesday night by President Muhammadu Buhari who was represented by the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare.