Rivers Governor, Barr Nyesom Wike said the State is set to organize one of the best African Wrestling Championships, following the level of preparation and determination by the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).
Governor Wike stated this on Friday during the hoisting of flags of African countries to signal one of the landmarks in hosting the wrestling championship by Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Officers from the Nigeria Police band, Rivers State command carried out the simultaneous hoisting of the flags of African countries at the imposing Alfred Diette-Spiff Spiff Sports Complex, venue for the championship.
While commending the Local Organising Committee for preparing well ahead of the wrestling championship, he stressed that “I am aware that with what I am seeing, the state is set, and I will want to believe that they will give us the best.”
He lauded the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) led by Daniel Igali for making it possible for Rivers to secure the hosting rights of the championship.
According to him, “It’s not easy when you came to us; you told that you will do everything possible for Rivers to get the hosting right, which you did.
“And we also promised you that we are not going to disappoint you; I want to stand here to reiterate that we are not going to disappoint you.”
The governor called on sports stakeholders to queue behind the championship as Nigeria was hosting for the first time.
LOC chairman and Rivers Commissioner for Sports, Hon Boma Iyaye, assured that they were putting finishing touches towards hosting a successful continental event.
Also speaking, NWF President, Hon Daniel Igali said that the significance of hoisting the flags is in recognition of all the 54 African countries expected to participate in the event.
“The symbols of the countries are their flags; this is about their culture, it’s about friendship and about the official signal of the tournament that is about to take place in Port Harcourt,” he stated.
The Olympic champion expressed optimism that Nigeria was not just hosting but would do well to emerge champions.
2018 African Wrestling Championship is scheduled to take place February 7-11 with 30 participating countries.