Edo State Government on Wednesday said its priority is to host and win the National Sports Festival.
The National Sports Festival tagged “Edo 2020” is scheduled to take place between March 20th and April 4th.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who gave the assurance during the lit up of the Edo State Sports Festival Unity Torch in government House yesterday described the lighting up as unique.
Obaseki said the selection of athletes to represent the state at the festival will be on merit, noted that the state is hosting to win.
“We are not just hosting, we are hosting to win. We have no automatic shirts or boots for anybody. If you think you are a star, you should go to your local government and compete there. If you fit enough to represent the state, you will be selected.
“The selection process will commence from the 18 Local Government Areas, proceed to zonal elimination in the three senatorial districts and then contest for position at the state level to make up the team that will represent Edo state in the National Sports Festival”, he said.
The governor noted that the hosting of the third Edo State Sports Festival would help to produce a physically strong, fit and active team to face other 35 States of the federation in the forthcoming National Sports Festival scheduled to hold from March 20th to April 4th.
He said the Torch of Unity will tour the three senatorial districts in the state and will end on 20th January, 2020 while the state sports festival is scheduled to begin on February 10 and end on February 16, 2020.
“From Benin here, we are going to Akoko- Edo where we will handover the torch to the chairman. From there we will move to Etsako East and then to Etsako Central local government.
“Tomorrow, we will start from Etsako West, move to Owan East and Owan West. By next week, we will move to Edo Central”,he added.
Obaseki, however handed the lit torch over to the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu who in turn passed it to the chairman, Edo State Sports Commission, Godwin Dudu-Orume.
Earlier, in his remarks, Edo State Sports Commission, Godwin Dudu-Orume said the state sports festival is designed to fully test sports facilities, prepare the ground and as well confirm the readiness of the state for the 2020 National Sports Festival.
Idris Umar Momoh & Churchill Okoro, Benin