Dutiful security operatives and officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Tuesday took strategic position around major roads from the Benin airport to Oba of Benin palace and the Samuel Ogbemudia stadium- venue for the opening ceremony of the ongoing 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) hosted by Edo State.
The operatives, including officials of Edo State Transport Management Agency (EDSTMA) were specifically deployed to provide security, maintain law and order ahead of Vice president, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo arrival.
According to the program of events for the NSF, Osibanjo was billed to visit the Benin monarch, Oba Ewuare upon his arrival in the State and thereafter proceed to Samuel Ogbemudia stadium to officially declare the NSF open.
Blueprint correspondent who went round the Benin metropolis observed that the operatives were on the streets as early as 7.am and remain steadfast even when it began to rain from 4.50PM to 7.30pm.
Similarly, at the Oba of Benin palace, HRM, Ewuare II, plain clothes security personnel believed to have been deployed from State House in Abuja were on ground from 7.am to about 8pm.
Whilst the waiting continued, news filtered in that the vice president visit has been called off due to bad weather – arising from the torrential rain fall which prevented the VP’s flight from landing at the Benin airport.
However, Osibanjo who was thereafter represented by the Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, who urged youths in the country to maximise the economic potential inherent in sports.
While describing sports as a business venture with huge benefits, the VP said the biennial sports festival remained a cohesive agent that brings Nigerians together.
According to him, “Our sports must become businesses from which the benefits of job creation and employment, investments to the GDP will accrue.”
He enjoined the participating athletes across the federation to keep to the rules of the game, adding that the sport festival has resulted in the discovery of super stars since its commencement in 1973.
Over 8,000 contingents from states across the country are competing for silver wares at the sporting events.
On his part, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state urged the athletes to compete fairly in the games, noting that his administration has invested a lot in the reconstruction of Samuel Ogbemudia stadium to a word-class standard.