BEVERLY HILLS, April 08, (THEWILL) – Sports have always been a force of unity for Nigerians in every generation and the Federal Government acknowledged it to be one of the bonds that unite the people despite numerous challenges bedeviling the country.
This was the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, at the opening of the 20th National Sports Festival (NSF) tagged Edo2020 at the Samuel Ogbemudia international Stadium Benin City, capital of Edo State.
The NSF has a very unique history, deeply rooted in the sad experience of the Nigerian Civil War but is currently aimed at bringing different people together to compete and find purpose in the bond that keep Nigerians together as one family notwithstanding differences in ethnic origin, gender, religion, language and or educational level.
The Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, who represented the President, commended the athletes for their faith in government to make the event happen, after the series of COVID-19 enforced postponements from March last year.
On behalf of Buhari, Dare said: “The National Sports festival as you all know still remains the veritable tool for uniting our country, as well as bringing our young men and women to interact and compete.
“It also provides the avenue to discover talents for various sports that will represent the country in the global sports arena.”
“This is indeed in consonant with the aspiration of our founding fathers such as General Yakubu Gowon, late Major General Henry Adebokwe, late Brigadier Samuel Ogbumudia and others who initiated and brought this event to the limelight.”
With different colourfully beautiful performances by cultural troupes that showcased the cultural heritage and diversity of Nigeria, the opening ceremony of the 20th edition of the event, which held at the ultramodern Samuel Ogbumudia stadium, was a grand event suffused with style and glamour and overflowing with representatives of the participating States.
President Buhari thanked the government and people of Edo state for keeping to their promise of hosting the festival despite numerous challenges occasioned by the many postponements which pushed a festival that was supposed to hold almost a year ago to March 2021.