Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki Monday received the Torch of Unity for the 2022 edition of the National Sports Festival (NSF) which begins November, 28 in Delta,
Governor Obaseki, represented by the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu received the Torch at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, after being brought into the city by one of the most celebrated Nigerian Olympians, Chairman Edo State Sports Commission, Yussuf Alli who presented the Torch to Comrade Philip Shaibu.
“The purpose of establishing this tournament was to unite Nigeria after the war. We pray that during this period where we are having security issues, religious crises, and other ethnicities unrest that as the Torch has gone over the country these will be a thing of the past and we go to Delta, we pray that all the state that will be participating in this tournament will go back to their state with that Peace and Unity that we will share in the tournament.”
Shaibu meanwhile used the platform to remind the Ministry of Sports and Finance to remind them and plead for the disbursement of the pending fund promised to the state during the last Festival.
“I want to through you to my brother, the Honorable Minister of Sports, and to my sister, the honorable Minister for Finance to remind you and appeal that the 500 million naira that the Federal Government agreed to pay because of COVID and postponement, up till now, we have not received it, we are using this medium to as we pass this Torch of unity that Federal Government should please, we need that money which was loaned be paid to us – we pray that they will understand and send this money back to Edo State government.”
“We will continue to the federal government, the honorable Minister for Youth and Sports, his agenda to transform Sports in Nigeria, even with the recent 10 years Master Plan that he did. 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, the Deputy Director of, the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports who doubles as the Coordinator, of Torch of Unity, Chief Amaka Ashiofu emphasize the Torch of Unity as she thanked Edo State for joining other states in accepting to participate at the 21st Festival.
“We are here to present the torch of Unity for the 21st National Sports Festival. This was flagged off on the 28th of 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 and when it comes to every state, it shows their acceptance to participate at the National Sports Festival. Sports as we all know is a platform for peace and unity and that’s why we are all here.”
Team Edo will depart the state for Asaba Tuesday as they hope to better their last edition where they come second behind Delta with 129 gold, 104 silver, and 108 bronze.
Also present at the Torch receiving was the Permanent Secretary of the state sports Commission, Mrs. Sabina Chikere, South-South Zonal Coordinator, Rebecca Wilfred and other Edo Sports Commission stakeholders.