African Wrestling fiesta will bring unity to Rivers State, says Dalung
Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung says hosting of the forthcoming African Wrestling Championship billed for Port Harcourt from February 7 to 11, 2018 will help unite the people of the Rivers State and Nigeria.
Speaking when the Local Organising Committee, led by Boma Iyayi paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja, the minister posited that sports is the only tool that can be used to promote national integration, douse tension and mobilize Nigerians to see themselves as one.
“I have been in line with the preparation and I have also received the African President here in Nigeria when he came on an inspection of facilities. We have dutifully supported this cause on two strong grounds. One is that Honourable Daniel Igali is a very unique Nigerian, who did wrestling, won medals and came back to impart his knowledge on to Nigerians.
“Secondly, I believe that the championship taking place next year in Port Harcourt will help in correcting the erroneous impression that has been created about the people of Rivers state. Today, the situation in Rivers State has been negated by disagreements among leaders and we need to abate that situation by securing the young people, giving them a sense of belonging and associating them with the Nigerian family, so that they can rightly belong.
“I believe this championship will go a long way to reunite the people of Rivers state and Nigeria in general.”
Dalung thanked the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike for accepting to host the championship, while praising the local organizing committee for their hard work. He challenged them to make the event a successful one.
Earlier, the Chairman of the organizing committee, Boma Iyayi thanked the minister for his support in acquiring the hosting rights for the championship.
“Sport is one of the major tools binding us. This is an opportunity for us to unite everybody in Nigeria. Rivers State is just privileged to host the African Wrestling Championship but it is a Nigerian event. We seek your indulgence to please give us the necessary support.
“We will show the hospitality of Rivers State to Africa and showcase Nigeria to the world,”Iyayi said.
The National Wrestling Championship comes up from November 23 to 30, 2017 at the Indoor Sports Hall of the Alfred Diette-Spiff Civic Center in Port Harcourt.
It will be used as a yardstick to showcase preparations ahead of the African championship and choose wrestlers, who will represent the country at the African Championship.
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