By Osaigbovomwan Iguobaro
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Sports have been locked out at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City.
The Edo State Government said it took the decision to shut down the office of the Main Organising Committee (MOC) office at the Stadium on Thursday.
The Government on Wednesday, threatened to shut down the Festival over the failure of the Federal Government to release funds.
But the Federal Ministry of Sports and the MOC of the festival had said they were unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the event.
The spokesman of the Ministry, Ramon Balogun in a statement on Thursday, said: “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”, he said.