From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, has enjoined the youths of the nation not to despair but to have hope despite the threats of insecurity from all parts of the country, stressing that the future belong to the youths.
He stated this while hosting athletes of Team Edo who participated in the just concluded National Sports Festival at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Friday night, where he announced cash rewards of N250,000 for athletes who won gold; N150,000 for athletes who won silver and N100,000 for athletes who won bronze at the festival.
The governor who recalled that the National Sports Festival was a fallout of the Nigerian Civil War to unite Nigerians, said “at this time of our national history we need events that will unite the country”.
Obaseki further recalled the obstacles Edofaced; including postponements of the festival occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and said despite all, the state successfully hosted the National Sports Festival.
“From the design of the mascot which was christened Edo 2020, it shows the creativity of our youths. We came 2nd but we are proud of our performance. All the medals we won were won by our home grown athletes.
“Easily, Edo 2020 can be said to be the best ever National Sports Festival held in Nigeria”, governor Obaseki said, adding that the athletes made it possible as there was no incident, including use of drugs during the festival.
“So, tonight, we have brought you all together to say thank you. You have lived up to the spirit of the National Sports Festival”, he said and urged the athletes to continue to train and show surprise at the National Sports Festival which is expected to be hosted by Delta State in Asaba next year.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the sports festival and the state Deputy Governor, Phillip Shaibu, disclosed that Edo targeted 120 gold medals but won 130 gold.
He said during the festival, 118 stolen telephone handsets were recovered and returned to their owners by vigilant security operatives.
Shaibu commended governor Obaseki for the reconstruction of the Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium with quality facilities which he said would aid the state’s athletes to do well at the next National Sports Festival.