NSF: Edo Govt threatens to shut down festival over lack of funds

The Edo government, hosts of the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) in Benin, will shut down the 13-day event by 12 noon Thursday, an official said late Wednesday.

Musa Ebomhiana, Project Manager with the Media and Communications Sub-Committee of the festival’s Local Organising Committee (LOC), said the decision was necessitated by President Muhammadu Buhari regime’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.

“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 close down the festival by 12 noon tomorrow (Thursday).

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

“Due to that, we’re closing the festival,” Mr Ebomhiana stated.

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He, however, didn’t disclose how the LOC was going to close down the festival.

NAN could not get the reaction of the festival organisers, the Main Organising Committee (MOC), to this growth as at the time of this report.

It couldn’t additionally get the response of the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports activities Improvement.

John Joshua-Akanji, an aide of the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, instructed NAN to get across to the MOC’s Secretary, Peter Nelson, who couldn’t be reached.

Edo had solicited financial support from the federal 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 have been 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.

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