Abuja – The seventh edition of the National School Sports Festival (NSSF) would hold in Otukpo, Benue, from Nov. 6 to Nov. 16, an official said on Sunday in Abuja.
A statement from NSSF President, Ibrahim Mohammed, quoted the Benue Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr Igbiri Dada, as saying that Gov. Gabriel Suswam had approved to host the festival.
“When we received the request letter, we felt privileged because it is a laudable idea and the state governor did not hesitate.
“He directed that the letter be sent back immediately for approval and necessary action to be taken, in which we responded immediately.
“There is no problem, we are ready and eager to host the festival; we are just urging the NSSF to avail us with the necessary technical ideas and inputs for a good festival.
“So, the Ministry of Youth and Sports with the Ministry of Education will put heads together and work out modalities to ensure a memorable festival,’’ Dada was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, the NSSF president has given assurance of bringing up preventive measures against Ebola Virus during the festival expected to feature over 5,000 students.
Mohammed said that the federation was already taking proactive measures together with the Ministry of Health.
“With or without Ebola Virus, we are teachers, and the welfare of these children is a priority to us and their care is our primary concern.
“With the medical committee to be set up by the state, almost all medical attention and precaution including screening, usage of hand sanitisers and every other thing will be done.
“Above all, our prayers as parents will be with them because we are putting our trust in God,’’ he said.
The NSSF president, however, expressed optimism that the seventh edition of the festival would be a memorable one in Otukpo.
“We are already making the state government understand how to have a befitting event because school sport is not about skills alone.
“We are meant to expose their talents and establish unity among them, as well as promote educational development among the children.
“By the time they move from one state to another, a lot is learnt on the road; so, that is the essence.
“And as far as we are concerned, the reception by relevant authorities was excellent and the facilities we inspected are okay, they just need to be improved upon,’’ Mohammed said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the sixth edition of the NSSF was held in Ilorin, Kwara.
The NSSF is a multi sports school event meant for primary and secondary school students between the ages of six and 15.