The call for the postponement of the 20the edition of the National Sports Festival holding in Benin City, Edo State from March 20 to April 5, is mischievous and a calculated attempt to paint Edo State in negative light says Mr. Godwin Dudu-Orumen, Chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission.
Dudu-Orumen who was reacting to a report in a leading newspaper where a former Director of Sports in the Delta State Sports Council called for the postponement of the Games over what he said was the growing insecurity in the state, said it was unfortunate that someone staying far away from the state would make such a reckless and misguided statement.
“Benin City and indeed Edo State is safe. People are going about conducting their business without fear or molestation of any kind. At any rate, is there anything happening here that is not happening in the state where he resides? So much investment has gone into preparing for the sports festival and any call for its postponement at this time is totally uncalled for,” Dudu-Orumen stated.
He advised Nigerians to disregard the call noting that the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the festival had taken extensive steps in conjunction with the security agency backed with strong guarantees from the Edo State Government, to ensure that athletes and officials participating in the Games and spectators from within and outside the state, are safe and secure during the games.
“We have gone too far for anyone to be asking for postponement of the festival. We have put in place top notch facilities and arrangements, which the Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare himself attested to when he visited Benin City for the opening day of the ongoing Edo State Sports Festival. Besides, the sub-committee in charge of security within the LOC has been busy taking proactive steps to ensure seamless organisation of the Games without any security threats,” he said.