Governor Obaseki Godwin, the re-elected governor of Edo State, is in the eyes of the storm over Edo national sports festival
OpenLife Nigeria has gathered that the twist and turns that have been the defining essence of the aborted sports festival which has now been fixed for April 2-14, 2021 may have put governor Obaseki Godwin on the spot light.
Insiders who confided in OpenLife Nigeria disclosed that the April 2-14 date may not hold after all.
According to the credible source, governor Obaseki Godwin is currently at cross roads over the funding of the sports festival.
It is alleged that monies earnmarked for the funding of the festival were allegedly diverted to funding the governorship re election campaigns which gulped several billion of Naira.
Governor Obaseki Godwin had found himself confronting political behemoths in Edo during his re election bid in September 2020, a development that stretched his finances and above limits
At the moment, the government. through the State deputy governor, Philip Shuabu, has said what it has is the facilities to host the all important national festival and not money.
The government is therefore requesting federal government to pull the resources for the funding.
This development has, once again, added doubts on the possibility of the festival holding in April as scheduled.
Besides, wrestling association members who are said to be having engagement in Anambra state have complained of non availability to participate in April.
Various sports analysts are therefore questioning the administrative experience of governor Obaseki Godwin who does not seem to have done a thorough home work to accommodate all shades of sports before concurring to the April date.
“Just almost about two weeks to the sports festival in Edo, no kobo has been released for the funding of preparatory activities. Governor Obaseki Godwin says he does not have money. The ministry in charge seems to be handicap in funding and the federal government does not appear it is ready to release any fund. That is the dilemma.
“Governor Obaseki would have saved us this embarrassment if not for his desperation to win a second term election where he over dipped his hands into the treasury.
“He bamboozled everyone that he was ready to host Nigeria in Edo. What he wanted to achieve was to strengthen his profile. He quickly went and renovated Ogbe Stadium.
“If he was truly serious in developing sports in Edo, this is the time he ought to have attached seriousness to host. It was all political and for the first time, a governor is messing up the age long national sports festival. Pity,” the source, a director in the sports ministry lamented to OpenLife Nigeria on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the festival tagged ‘Edo 2020’ was originally scheduled for March 2020, but was postponed three days to its take-off due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, in November 2020, moved the festival from December 3 – 18 to January 3 – 17, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The date was later shifted to February 14 – 28, 2021 by the National Council on Sports (NCS) following stakeholders’ complains that it would be unwise for athletes to compete two days after the New Year festivity.