Category: Sports Development

Nigeria Olympics Committee Honours Gov. Diri – Awards Oborududu Scholarship

The Nigeria Olympics Committee (NOC) has described Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, as a sports friendly personality that has greatly impacted the sector.

The NOC President, Engr. Habu Gumel, stated this on Thursday night in Yenagoa when he presented the Olympic Sports Friendly Personality Award to Governor Diri during a state banquet in honour of the committee members who were in the state for their annual general meeting.

Gumel said as a former Commissioner for Sports and now governor, Diri has achieved a lot and has continued to produce sports stars for the state and Nigeria.

He said: “This is a very important day for us. We are so happy. You have achieved a lot. You have produced many champions and I know more are coming. 

“You also produced Blessing (Oborududu), who brought us silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics and made Nigeria proud. The Nigeria Olympic Committee is offering Blessing a scholarship.

“So, for all you have achieved in sports, I hereby present the Olympic Sports Friendly Personality award to you.”

Gumel recalled how he was elected president of the NOC 20 years ago in the state,  describing Bayelsa as his second home. 

He thanked the government and people of the state for their hospitality towards members of the NOC.

In his remarks, Governor Diri said sports was important to the human race as it has proved to be a uniting factor for peace and development. 

He expressed appreciation to the NOC for choosing Bayelsa for its annual general meeting, noting that the state had passion for sports. 

Governor Diri reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to sports development, stressing that it is willing to partner relevant stakeholders.

His words: “Mr  President and members of the NOC, I welcome you to Bayelsa State; a state that loves sports with passion; a state that will continue to welcome every sports lover in Nigeria.

“We are happy with your growth. We are happy to understand and know that it was on this soil you emerged as president of the Nigeria Olympic Committee. 

“Twenty years later, you and your colleagues decided to come again to have your AGM on this soil.”

In his welcome address, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, said the state deserved to host the NOC AGM given its performance in sports in the last year.

Igali lauded Governor Diri for his support to development of sports in the state, which he said has placed Bayelsa prominently on the national and international map.

Daniel Alabrah
Chief Press Secretary to the Bayelsa State Governor
December 17, 2021

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CAF Approves Samson Siasia Stadium For Bayelsa United, CS Sfaxien Game

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has approved the Samson Siasia Stadium in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, for the first leg CAF Confederation Cup clash between Bayelsa United of Nigeria and CS Sfaxien of Tunisia.

The match is scheduled for Sunday, October 17.

A letter conveying the approval sent by email to the NFF Secretary-General, Mohammed Sanusi and signed by Mohammed Sidat, CAF’s Club Licensing Senior Manager 1 (Development Division), stated: “We acknowledge receipt of the letter request and pre-inspection report with photos and videos of the Samson Siasia Stadium.

“After analysing the information and in accordance with the stadium requirements for the CAF Interclubs 2021-22 season Second Preliminary Round, we inform you that the stadium is approved for this round.”

The letter also indicated that another inspection might be required for the group stages if Bayelsa United qualify for the next round.

The approval puts to rest speculations about the stadium, particularly its football pitch’s eligibility for the continental games involving Bayelsa United.

In the first round played at the same stadium on September 19, Bayelsa United overpowered AS Ashanti Golden Boys of Guinea 4-2. 

In a related development, the Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has congratulated the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Daniel Igali, on his recent re-election as President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF).

Governor Diri in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Wednesday described Igali as a “round peg in a round hole.”

He said whether as a wrestler or an administrator, Igali had always brought pride to the state and indeed Nigeria as a whole.

“Daniel Igali is a perfect and shining example of a round peg in a round hole. His re-election as the Nigeria Wrestling Federation President did not come as a surprise to me or the state. 

“He is hard working and always strives for excellence. The results are there to show for his commitment and dedication. I urge him to continue with the good job of discovering and grooming young wrestlers for our dear country.”

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CAF Confederation Cup: Gov. Diri Motivates Victorious Bayelsa United With N14m

An elated Governor Douye Diri has doled out N14 million to the state-owned football club, Bayelsa United, for the victory over visiting AS Ashanti Golden Boys of Guinea in the preliminary round of the CAF Confederation Cup.

The match played at the Samson Siasia Sports Complex in Yenagoa saw the youthful Bayelsa team winning by four goals to two.

Before the game commenced, Governor Diri had promised to handsomely encourage the players if they emerged victorious. 

He said the team would get N10m for a win and N1m for any goal scored, a promise he redeemed immediately the game ended.

Senator Diri, who congratulated the club for the victory, urged the players not to allow it get into their heads but should rather spur them to more victories.

The governor, also on Sunday, presented a brand-new Coaster bus to the team.

He made the presentation to the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Dr. Daniel Igali, and the management of the club in Government House, Yenagoa, before the Confederation Cup game.

The governor had during the official reception in honour of the team after winning the 2021 AITEO Cup last month in Benin promised the players a bus.

Governor Diri said the state was proud of its teams for bringing glory to Bayelsa. 

His words: “We made this commitment to our two clubsides, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens. Today I’m happy that it is being fulfilled.

“Bayelsa United has done us proud by going continental. We hope and believe that by next year they will qualify for the professional league.

“So let me on behalf of the Prosperity Government hand over these keys to the Commissioner for Sports and the management of Bayelsa United.”

Speaking after receiving the keys, the Commissioner for Sports, Dr. Igali, said the sports family in the state was extremely delighted for fulfilling his earlier directive on the bus. 

Dr. Igali noted that with the kind gesture of the governor, the state would not only be known for sports but also for what it has done for its teams. 

The Sports Commissioner added that the official presentation of the Bayelsa Queens bus would be done soon.

Daniel Alabrah 
Chief Press Secretary to Bayelsa State Governor 
September 19, 2021

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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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