Despite divergent views by members of the National Council of Sports which held yesterday, the general consensus was that the festival should hold this year.
Speaking during the virtual meeting chaired by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare, contributors said although the COVID-19 pandemic was a source of concern, the sports festival can go ahead if certain measures are put in place.
According to the Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Philip Shuaibu, “ We are ready to host the festival, but other states may not be ready. The issue of health is something that we all take seriously. Isolation centres have been further expanded to bigger capacity. We have set up many testing centres that would screen athletes before and after games.
The minister, Sunday Dare said: “After more than more months of uncertainty, we need to chart a new course for our sports just like is been done globally. Our final decision will be based on consultations with the Ministry of Health and the National Task Force on Covid-19.
In his view, a representative of the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Sports, Paul Bassey said: “An health committee should be set up to work with the NCDC and the Ministry of Health to determine the possibility of the festival taking place.”
While some members said the festival should hold before the Edo State election, others said it should be held after the election.
Meanwhile, an 11-man committee had been set up to inspect all heath facilities for the Games. The Committee is made up of members of the COVID-19 Task Force, NCDC, commissioners for sports from the six geo political zones of the country and representatives of the sports ministry.