Chairman of Delta State Organising Committee sports festival and former Chairman of the Delta State chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Itiako Constantine Ikpokpo has revealed that the earlier scheduled event which is set to open on January 14 has been postponed attributing the shift as necessary in overriding public interest in consideration of the new wave of COVID-19 pandemic.
This new development arose from a meeting convened yesterday with the Secretary to the Government of Delta State, Chiedu Ebie, who invited the organisers to present their plans for precaution and prevention of the spread of the disease during the event following the further outbreak and reported an increase of cases.
The SSG applauded the committee for its detailed strategy. He stated that considering the amount of work already done by the committee, deciding for or against going ahead with the event is like a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea.
“Your COVID-19 prevention protocol plan is well articulated and I am not surprised considering the caliber of people involved in the organisation. The question, however, is: Can we continue as though things are normal? There are growing public health concerns that the COVID-19 case numbers are going up and there is a need to take adequate measures against the second wave. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get people to comply with 100 percent. If you go ahead to hold the event, nothing may happen but if something happens then it will be deemed irresponsible to have held it at this time.”
Responding, the Chairman of the LOC affirmed that no amount of expenses already incurred in the organisation of the event is worth the risk of the exposure.
“We know that sports is still going on in the country and across the world, howbeit with various levels of observation of the COVID prevention protocols, but the threat of the disease and the second wave is real.”
He, however, pointed out that in situations like this, it is safer to err on the side of caution as there is more to life.