Buhari to flag off Edo 2020 National Sports Festival
Organisers of the National Sports Festival, tagged Edo 2020, which begins on March 22 in Benin City, have revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari will be the special guest of honour at the event.
Apart from performing the opening ceremony, Buhari will also be joined by other dignitaries to watch the best of Nigerian youths displaying the prowess in sports.
Speaking on Tuesday after inspecting facilities at the venues of the festival, Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu said, “We have put everything in place for an unprecedented National Sports Festival. I’m happy to inform you that the President will declare the Games open on March 22, while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will declare the event closed.”
Shaibu said the state was working hard towards ensuring that Edo 2020 was the best Games ever in the history of the NSF, which was first held at the National Stadium, Lagos in 1973.
“We are going to have about 17 centres for the events because as we have always said, we want to redefine how the Games are hosted, so that at the end of the day, Edo will be a reference point. For us, Edo is the home of sports,” Shaibu added.
deputy governor, an acclaimed footballer on the domestic scene, who plays for Insurance FC, said Edo was hosting to win the competition, adding that its athletes have been given the necessary exposure and training to bring glory to the state.
“We are hosting to win and win clean,” Shaibu stated.
“We’ve since started work; since we got the nod to host the festival, our athletes have been going for all the national games.
We’ve exposed them to compete with majority of the athletes that they would meet at Edo 2020. We also ensured that they competed recently in Akure (Allcomers Track and Field competition), with most of the athletes that would be going for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We’ve given them the necessary exposure.
“They will move to camp this week, so what we need to build now is team spirit. We are conscious of not keeping them too long in camp. I was an active sportsman and I know that when you overstay in camp, you hit form and lose form. By the time you get to the tournament proper, you become rusty.”