Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has promised to put in his personal best effort and carry his aides along in the task of ensuring they host a successful National Sports Festival next year.
Obaseki gave the assurance during signing of an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Youth ands Sports towards making Edo 2020 not only realistic but also historic on positive levels.
Obaseki expressed his profound gratitude to the federal government on behalf of the people of Edo State for the confidence reposed in them to host the 20th edition of the festival in 2020.
He pointed out that another reason for them to excel next year is that the state actually hosted the first edition back in 1975, which means they must now show how much they have improved 44 years after.
Obaseki named the deputy governor, Rt. Hon. Phillip Shuaibu as Local Organising Committee chairman and suggested a meeting of National Council for Sports on February 21 to ratify all areas of need.
While urging the LOC to commence work in earnest, Obaseki also stated that Edo State has started with a revamp and refurbishment of Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
Obaseki added: “We are prepared as a state to host this festival. Being a state with history in sports, we clearly understand the implications and full ramifications of the hosting right.
“We realised that as the first state to host after the re-establishment of the games, we need to set a new standard. We will not take this lightly.
“The Samuel Ogbemudia stadium has been covered. We have replaced the tartan tracks and the football pitch is being renewed.
“We, as Bendel State were an integral part of the idea of formulating the National Sports Festival after the civil war.
“So, we are very cognizant of the goals and purpose of the sports festival – which is to build unity and patriotism in Nigeria.
“(It is also) to develop their sporting talents. This Festival will serve as a hunting ground or recruitment base for talents at the grassroots level.”