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Edo Backs Down On Shutting Sports Festival After Presidency’s Intervention

The Presidency has weighed into the crisis between the Federal Ministry of Sports and the Edo State Government on the National Sports Festival holding in Benin City.

Citing lack of funds, the Edo State government had given the Federal Government up till noon on Friday to intervene or risk total shut down.

Offices of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) of the festival at Samuel Ogbumedia Stadium was sealed by the Edo government.

The Deputy governor and Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Philip Shaibu, had accused the federal government of betrayal.

But shortly after the MOC office was shut, Shaibu announced that the federal government has agreed to commit fully to the festival.

“I want to thank the Governor, the Chief of Staff to the President and the Vice President, SGF and finance minister for coming to our rescue. I can assure you know that with the level of commitment we have gotten from the federal government, the games will go on.

“We will look for how to settle our vendors till the due commitment comes in but I want to assure you that we have a stronger commitment, more so now that are already on top of the game and there wont be shut down again,” Shaibu said.

Also, in a statement Musa Ebomhiana, Media and Communication manager of the LOC, said the Presidency has shown strong commitment to supporting the Festival.

“We believe and respect commitments from the Presidency. We take them by their words. It’s a strong message to us that they are strongly committed to redeeming their pledge to support us for the losses suffered arising from the three postponement of the games,” the statement said.

The Festival is in its 7th day of action, with Delta State leading with 29 medals as at the time of reporting this.

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