Wike, represented the Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, thanked the Badminton Confederation of Africa (BCA) for granting Nigeria the hosting right.
“We are delighted to host Africa, and we are extremely excited that the BCA supported Nigeria to host the championship.
“I assure all the participants that they will enjoy the tradition of hospitality of the state, and by the time you are done, you will desire to come back,” he says.
According to Wike, sports is an important aspect of human life as it drives unity and development.
“So, I expect that African continent can showcase great talents with sports to drive our unity and development,” he adds.
The BCA President, Tukebana Bau, says the championship comes back to Nigeria after a very long wait of 19 years.
“The BCA is committed to not only help badminton players in any corner of Africa but to also make sure that we choose the best country for our major event.
“The confederation being an athlete-centred organisation is committed to the welfare of players and to make sure that they are provided with the best facility for training and championships,” he says.
Bau thanks the Nigerian and Rivers Government for accepting to host the championships with 14 countries already participating, the highest in history of the event.
Earlier, Boma Iyaye, Rivers Commissioner for Sports, says that the state is a destination for international sports events.
Iyaye says the state has showcased to the world that it is a centre of hospitality.
Orbih notes that the state is using sports to drive social development with the sponsorship of local, state, national and international tournaments.