After 19 years that the last sports festival was held in Edo State, the state governor, Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki Wednesday lit the festival torch in Benin to herald the third in the series of what was intended to be a regular sports fiesta. The premier sports festival was held in 1981 with the last edition hosted in 2001. At a brief ceremony at the government house in Benin City, the state capital, Obaseki expressed his utmost pleasure and honour to light the Edo 2020 Sports Festival Torch. The festival is billed to open February 10 and close February 16, 2020. According to the government, it is expected to be a dress rehearsal for the 2020 National Sports Festival to be hosted by the state in March.
After the governor had performed the symbolicexercise, he immediately handed over the Torch of Unity to the state DeputyGovernor, Philip Shaibu who in turn passed it to the state chairman of Edo StateSports Commission, Dudu Orumen, a lawyer, who was to lead the sports team on the tour of thestate with the festival flame. Charging athletes in the state to compete for laurelsat the sports meet, Shaibu opined that the hosting of the third Edo StateSports Festival would help to produce a physically strong, fit, and active teamto face other 35 States of the federation in the forthcoming National SportsFestival.
In his remark, Orumen said the torch would be taken round the state within two days beginning same day. The state sports festival, according to the sports commission chairman, was designed to test-run the sports facilities being put in place by the state government, as well as prepare the ground for, and confirm the readiness of the state for the 2020 National Sports Festival to be staged in Benin, between March 20 and April 4, 2020.