Edo Govt Begins Process Of Ending NSF, Shutdown MOC Secretariat
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) has begun the process of abruptly ending the ongoing 20th National Sports Festival by shutting down the Secretariat of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) mostly people by the official of the Federal Government.
P.M. EXPRESS reports that the LOC had late Wednesday issued a statement announcing the intention of Edo State Government to stop the festival half way due to what it described as deliberate attempt of the Federal Government to renege on the promise of supporting the hosting of the games with some funds.
Ebomhiana Musa, Project Manager, Media & Communications of Edo 2020 confirmed to P.M. EXPRESS early on Thursday that stopping the festival is neither a rumour nor a joke taking too far, but a decision taking by the LOC in order to safe the entire organisation flow of the competition from hitting the rock.
‘True to their threat, security was moved in Thursday morning to eject officials at the MOC Secretariat from performing their duties.
When P.M. EXPRESS asked some of the security personnel the reason for their action, they politely replied that the have the instructions to eject the official and closed down the MOC Secretariat.
“We can no longer organise this festival on empty promises. Despite the fact that the Edo State Government lived up to the expectations, the Federal Government failed to honour its promise. There ate a lot of things we had been able to bear since the first postponement two days to the commencement of the tournament last year.
” We demanded for support to cushion the effect of these several postponements only for them to keep on promising and to make things worse, nobody opens discussion with us since the festival started.
“The decision to stop the games halfway, though painful, it is a reality that we cannot help. Some people are asking of we don’t have athletes that this action will affect. We have our contingent, but we cannot just keep quiet and let this go.
“So by 12 noon Friday, we have issued order for the closure of all centres to end the games. The Federal Government should be blame for this. We have done our best to keep things going till this time, we cannot continue the competition on empty promises,’ Musa said.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Sports had to issue a press statement early on Thursday, countering the action of the LOC, denying that no plan from the LOC to stop the festival.bawo
The statement from the ministry, signed by the assistant director Press Ramon Balogun on Thursday morning, said, “the Ministry and the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival are unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo state government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.
“The Honorable Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors are on ground in Benin City where the Festival is holding, and it is expected that the Edo state government would formally invite the ministry for a meeting should any urgency exist around the National Sports Festival or communicate officially with the Main Organizing Committee (MOC) for the festival. The Ministry has no such communication.
“For the records, the Edo state government due to the cost implications of postponements occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic requested financial assistance from the Federal government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports Development. The Ministry has since been at work to secure the financial assistance which it believes is being processed. The MYSD and EDSG are determined to deliver a successful National Sports Festival.”