The Rivers Government and Nigerian Wrestling Federation on Friday hoisted flags of 54 African countries expected to participate in the African Wrestling Championships, tagged Port Harcourt 2018.
The championship will hold from Febuary 7 to February 11.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers said during the flag-hoisting in Port Harcourt that the state had concluded arrangements to organise the best championship.
Wike commended the Local Organising Committee for preparing well ahead of the championship.
He said: “I sincerely appreciate and thank the LOC for the wonderful job been done to organise the African Wrestling Championship.
“I am aware that with what I have seen, the state is set, and I will want to believe that they will give us the best.”
The governor thanked the NWF under the leadership of Daniel Igali for making it possible for Rivers to secure the hosting right of the championship.
Wike said: “It’s not easy when you came to us; you told us that you will do everything possible for Rivers state 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.”
Wike urged the LOC to reach him to assist them with anything that was yet to be put in place before February 5.
He appealed to sports stakeholders to support the championship because Nigeria was hoisting it for the first time.
He said: “We must support them, appreciate them and let them know that Rivers is a hospitable state.”
Daniel Igali, NWF President, said that the hoisting of the flags was a recognition of all the 54 African countries expected to participate in the event.
Igali said: “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.
“It signals that the competition is going to take place and under the rules of the International Wrestling body.”
Igali stated that Nigeria was not just hosting but also hosting to win and congratulated Governor Wike for accepting to fund the event.
Boma Iyaye, Rivers Commissioner for sports and Chairman of the LOC, said that they were putting finishing touches to host a successful championship.