The Edo State government has directed that the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and Main Organising Committee (MOC) offices of the ongoing National Sports Festival in Benin be shut down.
The state government in a statement released on Wednesday evening revealed that the festival may be stopped abruptly on Thursday (today) over lack of funds.
But the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development, through its Assistant Press Director, Ramon Balogun, in a statement on Thursday morning, said it is unaware of any plans or threat by the Edo State Government to shut down the sports festival as there has been no official meeting or communication that relayed such information.
The government added that the financial assistance requested by the Edo State government was being processed.
However, addressing journalists on Thursday afternoon, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shuaibu, confirmed the closure of the LOC and MOC offices.
Shuaibu said the decision was taken because the state can no longer afford the cost of feeding the athletes.
At the unscheduled media briefing, the deputy governor insisted that the governor would have no choice but to stop the festival abruptly.
“Gentlemen of the press. We have ordered that the MOC office be shut down and if nothing positive from the Federal Government in terms of funds is heard before 12 noon tomorrow (Friday) we will discontinue the sports festival” he said.