The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state’s sports festival will serve as a unifying platform for Edo people across the 18 Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state despite their cultural diversity and religious beliefs.
The governor said this while declaring open the 3rd edition of the Edo Sports Festival in Benin City. The tourney comes 19 years after the 2nd edition was held.
Governor Obaseki assured that the sports festival will be held annually and as a part of the official sports calendar of the state government.
Obaseki said the festival would also be synchronised with the sports calendar of the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports.
He said, “I want to assure you that it will not take another 19 years before the next edition will hold. It will be held annually and we will synchronize it with the calendar of the Federal Ministry of Sports.
“The festival is more than competing for glory or to be one of Edo State contingent to the National Sports Festival. This festival is in celebration of the richness and vibrancy of our Edo pride and culture”.
The governor further disclosed a cash reward of N5 million for the overall winner of the competition, while the 2nd and 3rd runners-up will get N3m and N1m respectively.
He urged the contingents for the event to, in the spirit of sportsmanship, compete to win, abiding by the rules.
Earlier, Chairman, Edo Sports Commission, Mr. Godwin Dudu-Orumen, said the event was put together to celebrate the best of cultures, sports and promote the spirit of competitiveness among the athletes.
He said the competition would afford the state the opportunity to test run the facilities built by the Obaseki led-administration ahead of the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) holding in the state in March, as well as serve as platform to select athletes to represent the state during the NSF.