The Edo government, hosts of the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin City, the state capital, will shut down the 13-day event by 12 noon, Thursday, an official said late Wednesday.
Project Manager with the Media and Communications Sub-Committee of the festival’s Local Organising Committee (LOC), Musa Ebomhiana, said the decision was necessitated by President Muhammadu Buhari administration’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 was taken after an emergency meeting of the festival’s LOC headed by Edo Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu.
Mr Ebomhiana stated:
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.
He, however, did not disclose how the LOC was going to shut down the festival.
Reports said that efforts to reach the festival organisers, the Main Organising Committee (MOC), for a reaction was futile.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development could not also react to the development.
Edo had solicited financial support from the government to play host to the other states and the FCT.
It had hinged its demand upon the inconveniences brought about by the festival’s several postponements, earlier billed for March 2020.
The postponements were due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rescheduled festival had commenced on April 2 to last until April 14, and if it shut down on Thursday, it would just be on its seventh day.