By Salifu Usman, Abuja
Despite the ongoing #EndSARS protest across the country, the minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, has insisted that the 20th National Sports Festival slated for Benin, Edo State, will hold.
Dare who spoke through a press statement from his media office, said consultations were ongoing between the ministry, Edo state government, Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, and National Council on Sports to decide on a new date to host the festival.
He described the news report to the effect that the games have been postponed indefinitely as fake and unfounded.
“Like we did by consulting with the PTF on Covid-19 when we lifted the ban on non-contact sports and later contact sports, discussions are ongoing to decide on a new date for the Festival. The fake news that the Festival has been postponed indefinitely must have emanated from a false source,” the statement said.
“We are considering a staggered Festival spanning several weeks and athletes batched, no fans and strict adherence to the Covid-19 protocol. While we are committed to holding the Festival, we do not want to endanger the lives of Athletes and officials. Be rest assured that a decision would be taken in line with Government’s guidelines in the best interest of the common good of our sports and the athletes.”
The Nigeria’s national Olympics was initially scheduled to hold in March but the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic forced the event to be postponed indefinitely as the nation joined the rest of the world to battle the virus.