• Dismisses calls for postponement of NSF
Chairman of Edo State Sports Commission (ESSC), Godwin Dudu-Orumen has expressed satisfaction with the quality of the performance of athletes at the ongoing Edo State Sports Festival.
The ESSC boss, who is also the Chairman of the Organizing Committee (OC) of the games, was at the Sports Complex of the University of Benin to assess the performance of athletes in the different sports being hosted at the institution.
“It has been an exciting three days of competition. I have been round the venues to assess what has been going and I am encouraged by it all. The performance of the athletes have been impressive, indicating that they are desirous of booking their places in Team Edo’s contingent to next month’s National Sports Festival, which we are hosting.
“Beyond this, however, they have been competing, as Governor Godwin Obaseki admonished them during the opening ceremony, in an atmosphere of camaraderie. They want to win but they are doing so playing within the rules,” he said.
On the organisation of the games so far, he said all officials concerned were dutifully executing the plans drawn up by the OC, adding, “the festival is going on smoothly. It is not flawless, as no human activity can, but we are taking note of the challenges and are addressing them as the arise.
“Overall, however, we have a games that is meeting with our expectations,” Dudu-Orumen stated.
He said that the end of the festival, the OC will prepare a report, which would be useful to the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the National Sports Festival.
Meanwhile, Dudu-Orumen has dismissed the call for the postponement of the 20the edition of the National Sports Festival scheduled for Benin City from March 20 to April 5.
He described the call as mischievous and a calculated attempt to paint Edo State in negative light.
Dudu-Orumen, who was reacting to a report 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 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.