The official Mascot for the All African Senior Championships was unveiled at a ceremony inside the Conference room of the Presidential Hotel in Port Harcourt on Saturday night by the Badminton Federation of Nigeria (BFN).

The Mascot is named Alabo the Shuttler and was designed with cultural significance of Rivers State and its hospitality.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr Olusade Adesola, representing the Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung during the ceremony acknowledged the great work of the Rivers State government towards the development of sports in the country.

The Minister said that state with it's recent hosting of African events was setting the pace and urged other states to borrow a cue from them.

"The administration of his Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike has continued to put sports development on it front burner," he said.

"Having hosted the African Wrestling Championship last year, here they are again replicating same in Badminton.

“We call on other state government to emulate what the Rivers government doing in supporting sports development.

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 added.

On his part, the Rivers State Commissioner of Sports, Honorable Boma Iyaye representing the Governor said the state was ready to host a successful Championships.

Iyaye assured the team of being well motivated as they prepare for the Championships.

"“Team Nigeria will be well motivated and supported to be African champions in Badminton,” Iyaye said.

"We have done this before when we hosted the Wrestling Championship in 2018 and we are ready to do same this year.

"Logistics have been put in place to ensure we have a successful Championships in Port Harcourt," he added.

Meanwhile, President of the Badminton Federation of Nigeria, Francis Orbih has assured Nigerians that the team will go out to dominate in the Championship and return to being African number one.

A total of 18 countries have registered for the All African Badminton Championships and the tournament is to hold from April 22-28, 2019.

Author: Jessica Amadi
I am a sports journalist who has taken a keen interest in female football and athletics. I have a thing for the untold story

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