Dudu revealed that the state was very ready and they are only working on certain cleanups here and there to put finishing touches to the work that has already been done.
According to him, logistics is ready and new buses, big, medium and small buses have been provided for the seamless movement of athletes, officials, and tourists when the tournament starts.
He added that there are more than 300 registered, quality hotels and Obaseki has also guaranteed that security will not be an issue.
On how ready the state is, his words, “Edo state is ready. What we are doing now is clean up. We are cleaning up here and there and putting finishing touches to the work that we have been doing. The Samuel Ogbemudia stadium, which is going to host the major events is in sparkling shape.
I can assure you that in terms of logistics for the games, we are ready. We have new buses; big, medium and small buses for the uninterrupted movement of athletes, officials, and tourists, because Edo 2020 is a combination of sports and tourism. There are over 300 registered, quality hotels and the Governor has said that security is in the front burner.
All the mechanics for the smooth movement in town have been put in place, like involving private security agencies and Edo state transport regulatory bodies. We are ready. In terms of facilities, the University of Benin, is going to provide about 13,000-bed spaces.
We have negotiated with the Vice-Chancellor and the school authority to adjust their academic programme so that the students can be on vacation and we can make use of the place as Games Village. It is one of the two or three places we have registered as Games Village. The other one is Ekewan Campus, which is also the University of Benin.”
“In terms of food, we have invited caterers and received tons and tons of applications. Only about thirty have survived the screening exercise, which also included health checks as we don’t want people distributing contaminated and infected foods.
This is one Games where athletes are not going to be sleeping in classrooms; they are not going to have toilet challenges and other inconveniences. In the whole, organisationally, I think we are ready. Facilities wise, we are ready. The ownership of the federal government indoor hall at Etete has been transferred to Edo state and we have repackaged it.
Table tennis and para-sports will take place there. Imaguero College is venue for more games and it is ready. We also have the New Era College with an ultra-modern sportshall. We have cricket facilities at Edo Boys High School, etc.
I can tell you without fear of contradiction that as far as Edo 2020 is concerned, we are ready.”
On if the street have been sensitized, “There are banners and posters everywhere. We have produced and aired jingles on radio and numerous TV promos as far as Supersport and CNN.
In terms of sensitisation, there was a flag off which was done by the governor himself and the message is all over the place.
We are only short of using local town criers, every Edo man, woman, youth knows that we are going to play host to the National Sports Festival. And because Edo State is called the heartbeat of Nigeria – there is no part of this country that you are going to that you don’t pass through Edo state many people are aware we are going to play host.
We want to make Edo 2020 memorable as even those who are doing artifacts, carvings and all that have intensified their work to ensure the popular Benin artifacts are not in short supply for those who would want to go home with memorabilia like the brass works and carvings. We want people to come back here again.”
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