Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, who teed-off the golf events of the just concluded 20th National Sports Festival in Benin City, has assured stakeholders in the sport that the world-class facilities used in hosting Nigeria's own 'Olympic games' will not be left to rot as a maintenance agency has been put in place for that purpose.
One of the highlights of the sports festival that would continue to resonate in the days ahead is the golf tournament where both Obaseki and his deputy, Rt Hon. Philip Shaibu featured.
Obaseki in particular demonstrated his skills as an avid golfer to the delight of the top executives and golfers present at the tee-off at the Benin Golf Club, inside the Government Reserved Area, (GRA) in Benin City.
Speaking later, Obaseki underscored the benefits of the game to players and enthusiasts.
For us, golf is about good health and happiness and making sure one accomplishes God's purpose in one's life. Golf is a game of life because it tests one's endurance, fitness and ability to face life's challenges.
"In America and other parts of the world, the game of golf is played by all, irrespective of their financial status; it is not meant for the rich alone. Golf requires a lot of mental participation."
He insisted that through the new order in place in Edo, all the facilities used for the Festival will be maintained and put to good use.
"There are tremendous changes in Edo today regarding how we maintain the structures and institutions. It has to do with the people, with capacity building and making sure you have the right processes and procedures.
"Through the new hiring and recruitment which are ongoing in the Edo State Public and Civil Service, we are going to put in place not only the right people but also the right systems and institutions to sustain what we are doing.
"I am assuring Edo people that these facilities will be kept well. It is owned by Edo people and therefore we must have systems in place to ensure that they are maintained."
On the essence of the Pan - Nigeria games, he said: "The purpose of the National Sports Festival is to bring men and women together in the spirit of oneness and unity so that they can have a common purpose.
"Our country needs healing, unity and a sense of purpose and that is why we are hosting the sports festival as part of measures to achieve such unity and cohesion."
At least 18 states etched their names on the golf medal table, with Delta topping the chart by winning five gold, one silver and three bronze medals, followed by Bayesla with five gold, five silver and two bronze medals. Plateau won three gold, two silver and one bronze medal, just as Edo State won two gold, four silver and three bronze medals.
Ogun, Kaduna, Kano and Ekiti states won one gold and silver medals each, in addition to two bronze medals by Ogun and one bronze by Kaduna. The Federal Capital Territory, Oyo, Niger, Rivers and Akwa Ibom states also had their names on the golf medal table signed by the Technical Director, Mr. Dada Adekunle and Saka Hakeem, Zonal Coordinator, North Central.
Other personalities who joined Obaseki to play were: the Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu; Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq; the representative of the President of the Nigerian Golf Federation, Thaddeus Wilmen and other golfers, in Benin City.