Category: Sports Development

Gov. Diri Congratulates Oboruduru


Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has praised the historic feat of 2020 Tokyo Olympics 68kg freestyle wrestling silver medallist, Blessing Oboruduru, describing her as an Amazon.

Governor Diri, who spoke on the telephone with Oboruduru before her event in Japan on Tuesday, said her heroic performance would spur younger athletes and wrestlers from her state of Bayelsa and Nigeria as a whole.

Noting that winning an Olympic medal was not a mean feat, the governor said he was particularly impressed that despite nursing a knee injury, she braved the odds to clinch a ‘golden’ silver medal for her country, which is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria’s participation in wrestling at the Olympics.

Governor Diri said his administration would continue to encourage and support the youths engaged in sports at all levels while describing Oboruduru as a “great ambassador of Bayelsa and a true inspiration.”

He noted that being one of the athletes from Bayelsa he adopted under the Federal Ministry of Sports’ “Adopt-An-Athlete Initiative” prior to the Olympics, Oboruduru made her state and country proud.

Diri assured her of the state government’s support so she can continue to impact and impart her skills into younger wrestlers and athletes that see her as a role model.


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Gov. Diri Rewards Victorious Female Handball Team

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on Monday, received the state’s Under-18 female handball team after emerging champions at a recent national tournament in Lagos. 


Governor Diri, who addressed the team in Government House, Yenagoa, announced a cash reward of N3.5 million for being shining ambassadors of the state.


He described the team’s triumph as a miracle because of the odds against it and commended their determination to come back home with the trophy.
His Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that the road to success was not always rosy as it takes sacrifice and hard work to overcome all obstacles.
Diri, who was full of praises for the athletes, expressed appreciation on behalf of the government and people of the state for making the state proud.


His words: “I’m aware that you struggled on your own, having faith in God to say you want to deliver this cup to the governor and people of Bayelsa State.


“I say a big thank you to all of you for your star performance and for believing in what we have been preaching. You are good examples of good students who listened to their teacher and had faith in the teacher to become what you want to be in life.


“You represented us very well in Lagos despite the financial challenges and inadequacies that you must have experienced. You still told yourselves that this cup must return to Bayelsa. That is the way to success, which is always very rough, narrow and mostly winding. For you to get access to a rose, you must experience thorns.” 
Diri charged them to brace up for the challenge ahead as they prepare to represent the country in a championship abroad.


He announced that the team’s preparation and trip to the tournament would be written off by the government while promising a handsome reward if they emerge victorious. 
Speaking earlier, head coach of the state’s handball team, Mr. Opuene Yekorogha, said they were proud to represent the state despite the initial hiccups of poor funding.


Mr. Yekorogha, who thanked Governor Diri for coming to the team’s aid financially, stressed that they were determined to do better with the backing of the state government. 
He stated that the continental championship in Sweden or Spain would be held in June this year.

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Federation Commends Diri’s Support To Nigerian Wrestlers

President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF), Hon. Daniel Igali, has given kudos to the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, for his administration’s tremendous support to Nigerian wrestlers. 


Hon. Igali gave the commendation when the governor visited the Nigerian wrestling camp in Yenagoa ahead of their departure to Tunisia for the Tokyo Olympic Games African qualifiers. 


Igali, who is also Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports, expressed gratitude to Senator Diri for his support to the  federation since the wrestlers began camping about a month ago.


His words: “On behalf of the NWF, I want to thank Governor Douye Diri for all the support to wrestling. We started camping here over three weeks ago and the governor has been responsible for bringing everybody to camp in Bayelsa.
“Bayelsa is the only state that hosts annual national wrestling championship in the past 10 years in the country. All our athletes from Bayelsa, the South-South and across the country regard Bayelsa as the home of wrestling.”


Igali said the first batch of the athletes would depart the country on Monday, March 29 while the second batch would leave the next day.

He said nine out of the 10 wrestlers going for the Olympic qualifiers are African champions and expressed the hope that they would win their first Olympic medal.


The Sports Commissioner also assured the governor that the Bayelsa team to the National Sports Festival holding in Edo State would make the state proud.

Governor Diri, in his remarks, charged the athletes to be worthy ambassadors of the state and the country and expressed the conviction that they would excel in their various categories.


While commending the NWF and the Nigeria Olympic Committee for their commitment, he urged the contingent to  ensure victory for the country.

“The number one sport for Bayelsa is wrestling. Before now, we had wrestling festivals across the communities. Wrestling is part and parcel of the state. 


“You are not only athletes but ambassadors of Bayelsa and Nigeria. As you go to Tunis for the qualifiers, compete and conquer and carry the flag of Nigeria high. You will return as those who will represent Nigeria and Africa in the next Olympics.”

Senator Diri, who urged the NWF president to also consider training youths in swimming, noted that Bayelsa has comparative advantage in the sport, which could bring laurels to the country.


The governor charged the state contingent to come tops at the National Sports Festival and also approved more funds to defray all the costs incurred by the NWF at the national team training camp.

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FIFA Council: Gov. Diri Congratulates Pinnick

Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has described the election of President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, into the council of the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) as another positive development for Nigeria on the global scale.


Governor Diri in a congratulatory message issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said with Pinnick, Nigeria put its best foot forward to occupy a top seat in the global football community.


He stated that the NFF president has displayed remarkable passion for football development in Nigeria since assuming office and that he was not surprised that he has continued to excel as a football administrator.


The Bayelsa helmsman, who was one-time Commissioner for Youth and Sports, noted that Pinnick’s dedication has earned him a deserved recognition and elevation, urging him not to rest on his laurels.

“Pinnick has shown remarkable passion for football development not only in Nigeria. I therefore congratulate him and Nigeria, which put its best foot forward to ensure he was elected into the FIFA Council. It is a deserved call to further service towards football development in Nigeria, Africa and on the global level.”

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