The Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN), on Saturday, unveiled the Mascot (Alabo The Shuttler) for the All African Senior Championships slated to hold in Port Harcourt from April 22 to 28.
Concise News reports that Solomon Dalung, Minister of Youths and Sports, during the unveiling ceremony at the Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt, praises the Rivers government for accepting to host the event.
Dalung, represented by Olusade Adesola, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youths and Sports, states that the ministry was aware of what the Rivers government was doing to promote sports.
Furthermore, he notes that the championship in Port Harcourt was a homecoming as many athletes from Rivers were champions in badminton.
“We commend the Rivers government for hosting yet another championships after the successful hosting of the African Wrestling Championships in 2018.
“We call on other state government to emulate what the Rivers government in supporting sports development,” he says.
According to Dalung, what is happening in BFN is a product of putting round pegs in round holes.
“We allowed democratisation of the process of electing leaders in all the federations, and today the decision of the ministry has paid off,” he says.
Therefore, the minister urges Team Nigeria to be African champions considering the level of motivation from the host state.
Governor Nyesom Wike, represented by Boma Iyaye, the state’s Commissioner for Sports, assures the federal government and BFN that the state was capable to host the competition.
“Rivers is capable, we are prepared, we will do it once again, as all the logistics support will be provided for.
“Team Nigeria will be well-motivated and supported to be African champions in badminton,” he says.
Additionally, Wike pleads with the Ministry of Youths and Sports to always organise sports events in the state.
In his remarks, Honour Sirawoo, the National President, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), urges BFN to organise a retreat for sports journalists before the kick-off of the even for effective coverage.
Sirawoo assures BFN that SWAN would do its best to make the event a success.
Earlier, Francis Orbih, National President of BFN, commends the Rivers government for hosting the event.
“With the support of the Rivers government, Nigeria is ready to his the championships successfully,” he says.
18 African countries have already registered for the championship.