Athletes from Ekiti State on Wednesday began movement to Abuja to participate in the 19 th National Sports Festival , which begins today in the nation ’ s capital city .
Athletes, coaches and officials of the state ’ s sports council were gathered at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium making final preparations for the trip to Abuja on Wednesday evening .
The team departed for the Games around 6 pm and were expected to arrive in Abuja by 12 am .
General Manager of the sports council , Deji Samo , told The PUNCH on Wednesday evening , that he was not happy that the athletes and officials had to embark on the six - hour journey and would arrive Abuja in the early hours of Thursday morning . He added that it was the only option they had since Ekiti was taking part in some events today .
“ We are set. The first batch is leaving Ado -Ekiti , the state capital in the next few minutes for Abuja . We are participating in table tennis on Thursday and some of our athletes are to weigh in .
“ The remaining athletes will leave tomorrow (today ). We are going to the competition with 46 athletes who will participate in 12 games . We are going there with our medal hopefuls , I mean areas where we have comparative advantage , ” Samo said .
The sports council boss, who initially said 150 athletes would represent Ekiti State at the event , said the number had to be reduced , saying there was no point going with those who would not win medals .
Samo , who dismissed insinuations that the state government released N7 m for the sports festival , said only N3 m was released for the Games.
He thanked Governor Kayode Fayemi for releasing funds for the event within one month in office in the face of the financial situation of the state .