By Monday Ajogun
Benin, March 17, 2020
The Edo State Government has announced the postponement of the 20th National Sports Festival scheduled for March 22 to April 1.
The Deputy Governor and Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC), Philip Shaibu, made the announcement while addressing the media on Tuesday in Benin.
Shaibu who expressed the state government’s regret to announce the postponement, explained that the decision was taken after due consultation with the Main Organising Committee (MOC) and the (LOC).
“The postponement has become necessary as a result of the shutdown of socio-economic activities in various countries across the world, due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
“Although there is no pandemic of the disease in Nigeria, Edo government is fully prepared to host the games and handle eventualities that may arise as a result of outbreak of COVID-19 and other diseases.
“We have decided to err on the side of caution and also show sensitivity to the plights of other countries dealing with the challenge.
“Details of the new date for the national sports festival will be communicated to you after due consultation with the relevant government agencies,” he said.
The chairman, however, gave the assurance that the state had some of the best health workers doing well in tackling Lassa fever and preventing spread of COVID-19.
“We have been on top of our game and our health workers have been trained and are ready to deal with the issues during the games,” Shaibu added.
The deputy governor, however, assured Nigerians that Edo remained safe in terms of security and health.