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National Sports Festival: Edo State Receives Torch of Unity

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Ahead the 21st Edition of the National Sports Festival, NSF, Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Monday received the Torch of Unity for the 2022 edition which begins Wednesday, November 30th in Asaba, Delta State.

Obaseki, represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, received the Torch at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.

The Torch was handed over to the Deputy Governor by one of Nigeria’s most celebrated Olympian and Chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Yussuf Alli.

While receiving the Torch, Shaibu thanked the torch bearing delegates and welcomed them to Edo State.

“You are welcome to Edo State, the Heartbeat of Nigeria and host of the last edition of the Festival. We are happy that we have received the Torch”.

“The purpose of organizing this festival is to unite Nigeria after the war. We pray that with the torch of unity, going round the country, it will bring to an end all our security challenges, religious crises and other ethnic unrest which have been of major concerns to every body.”

“As we go to Delta, we pray for all the States that will be participating in the festival will go back to their States with peace and unity that we will share during the fiesta”.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor has urged the Federal Government, through the Ministries of Sports and Finance to make good its pledge of releasing the sum of #500m as support fund to Edo State as host of the last sports festival.

“Through you, I want to remind my brother, the Honorable Minister of Sports and my sister, the honorable Minister of Finance of the #500m the Federal Government promised to pay us because of the several postponements we suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic before that festival was finally held. Till now, we have not received it”.

“We are using this medium as we pass this Torch of Unity that the Federal Government, should please, release the money. We need that money which was loaned to us by banks to enable us host the festival. We pray they will understand and redeem the pledge to Edo State Government to enable us settle our banks”

“However, we will continue to support the Federal Government and the Honorable Minister of Youths and Sports in the agenda to transform Sports in Nigeria, especially with the recent 10 years master plan initiated”.

” We have keyed into it so that our young children can live their dream of being champions of the world”.

Speaking earlier at the event, a Deputy Director in the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, who doubles as Coordinator, Torch of Unity, Chief Amaka Ashiofu, emphasized that the Torch of Unity was a symbol of peace and unity.

She thanked Edo State for joining other States in accepting to participate at the 21st National Sports Festival.

“We are here to present the Torch of Unity for the 21st National Sports Festival. This was flagged -off on 28th October, 2022 by the President, Mohammadu Buhari and has since gone through the 36 States of the Federation, before coming to the last host, Edo State”.

“This torch signifies peace and unity. When it comes to every State, it shows their acceptance to participate at the National Sports Festival. Sports, as we all know, it’s a platform for peace and unity and that’s why we are all here”, she added.

Team Edo will depart the State for Asaba Tuesday, as they hope to better their last edition performance where they came second behind Delta with 129 gold, 104 silver, and 108 bronze medals.

Present at the ceremony were the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Sports Commission, Mrs. Sabina Chikere, South-South Zonal Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports, Rebecca Wilfred, including Executive Board Members, Edo State Sports Commission.

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