The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has assured that the state would stage a comeback to the limelight in Nigeria’s sporting scene, as ongoing reforms in the state would engender a robust structure for sports development in the state.
The governor said this in commemoration of the International Day of Sports for Development and Peace, marked every April 6, by the United Nations and its organs.
According to him, “The International Day of Sports for Development and Peace reflects our strategy to deploy sports to drive development in urban and rural areas. As a state with immense sports potential, we have laid out a plan to tap from the talent of our people to drive sustainable development and foster peace. We are going to do this by putting the right structures in place for grooming talent and providing youths with the opportunity to showcase their talent.
“This is why we decided to bid for the hosting rights of the National Sports Festival, which we have now gotten. With the festival, we intend to rally talent from the nooks and crannies of Edo State and bring them to national limelight.”
Noting that some of the structures to drive development are already in place, he said, “We are a committed to the holistic development of the sporting scene in the state as shown with the setting up of the Edo State Sports Commission, which brings stability and focus to sports administration.”
The governor added that ongoing renovation of the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium will be completed in time for the National Sports Festival, and that other venues for the annual sports festival will be ready for the games, as work have commenced at the sites.
According to the United Nations, “Due to its vast reach, unparalleled popularity and foundation of positive values, sport is ideally positioned to contribute towards the United Nations’ objectives for development and peace.
“To raise awareness of this potential, 6 April was declared as the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) by the UN General Assembly. The adoption of this Day signifies the increasing recognition by the UN of the positive influence that sport can have on the advancement of human rights, and social and economic development.”