The Vice President , Professor Yemi Osinbajo will officially open the ongoing 20th edition of the National Sports festival, Edo 2020 in Benin City today with the commissioning of sporting facilities.
According to the programme of events released on Monday by the Main Organising Committee, Professor Osinbajo will pay homage to the Oba of Benin before proceeding to Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium for the ceremonial opening.
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The two hour programme will start at 7am with the display of the rich cultural heritage of Edo just as Nigerian artiste ‘Fire Boy’ would also entertain the guests.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare is expected to officially welcome the athletes, while Governor Godwin Obaseki and his Deputy, Comrade Philip Shaibu will also speak on Edo State’s readiness for the festival.
To ensure compliance with the COVID-19 Protocols, entry into the venue will be strictly by invitation and accreditation while states will be allowed only 20 athletes for the ceremony.
Meanwhile, no fewer than seven athletes have already tested positive for COVID-19 at the biennial games.
The Project Manager, Media and Communications, Sub-Committee for the festival, Musa Ebomhiana, who confirmed this yesterday, said the affected athletes have been quarantined at the Stella Obasanjo Isolation Centre in Benin.
He added that the affected athletes who are from different states stand disqualified from participating in the sports festival.
Ebomhiana explained that when the number of positive cases is compared with the large number of athletes and officials participating in the sports festival, there was nothing to worry about.
He further explained that out of the two states earlier disqualified, only Oyo state contingent had been readmitted into the games following the completion of the COVID-19 screening.
According to him, the case of Taraba is pending as athletes and officials have to undergo the mandatory COVID-19 test.
Ebomhiana said 25 states have so far arrived for the games as he assured that all is set for the official opening of the games.