The last minute intervention of the Presidency has resolved what could have become a big shame between the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and Edo State Government over plans by the latter to abruptly end the 20th National Sports Festival holding in the state.
The host state government on Wednesday announced its readiness to end the sports festival on Friday due to inability of the federal government to fulfil its monetary obligations to them, a situation that put athletes and official as well as other stakeholders in disarray.
With the presidency intervention, the uncertainty surrounding the continuation of festival holding in Benin City, Edo State has now been resolved following re -assurance by the federal government to support Edo State government.
A statement emanated from the Media Office of the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Chief Sunday Dare on Thursday confirmed the development.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Nebeolisa Anako speaking in Benin City on Thursday said: “Following the news making the rounds that the Edo State government will shut down the National Sports Festival if the Federal Government support does not come through.
“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the organiser of the sports festival while Edo State government is the host.
“I wish to announce that the athletes are in their various game villages and games are ongoing following the intervention of the Presidency assuring that the financial support to the state government is in it final processing stage.
“The games are not under threat. There was an information gap earlier, but as we speak, the games are ongoing and we assure you there won’t be any closure till the closing of the sports festival,” Anako concluded.