Athletes at the National Badminton Championship have declared that Port Harcourt is safe to host the African Badminton Championship in April, 2019.
Speaking in separate interviews during the just concluded Rivers Governor’s National Badminton Championship in Port Harcourt, the athletes expressed satisfaction with the security arrangement during the National fiesta.
Port Harcourt played host to about 150 athletes from 24 States who participated at the 4-day event which took place at the Diete Spiff Civic Centre.
A Professional Badminton Player from Niger State, Abdulhamid Nurudeen described the security arrangement in Port Harcourt as superb, noting that it protected all visiting athletes.
He said: “I have not witnessed any security challenge. In fact I would say the security here is super. The security was arranged so excellently that everybody feels secured.
“There is no cause for alarm. Security wise, this place has been excellent for us.
They have treated us so fine and we feel at home. If you say Lagos State is centre of excellence, I think we have another centre of excellence in Rivers State.”
Another athlete, Letan Kelvin of Bayelsa State stated the security network of Port Harcourt made the games very interesting as the sportsmen and women competed in a peaceful environment.
From Edo State, Blessing Joseph said that all through the four days the competition held, the athletes moved around the Garden City without molestation from any quarters.
Blessing Joseph said : “The security network in Rivers State has been wonderful since we came. I love the town and I have enjoyed my stay in the state. I wish I can stay here for two months. I have had fun all through the games”.
For Ovie Adams, another athlete from Edo State, the beautiful hotel accomodation across the Garden City made the games a huge success.
He said: “The game has witnessed a high turnout of players with great performance all through their respective matches.
I really love the hotel accommodation in the town and we have made a lot of friends.
“We have not witnessed any security challenge and we thank the Government and people of Rivers State for hosting us”.
Oporoye Arunapo, a Lagos State athlethe at the tournament commended the level of security in the state capital. He said that it led to a hitch-free event
He said: “There has been quality security around, which I think is good for the security of the athletes. The event has been held under a peaceful atmosphere devoid of conflict.
“This is a beautiful state with so many fine attractions. I will like to come again. I am definitely coming again”.
Winners of the Mixed Double, Peace Eno Oji (Rivers) and Enejo Abba (Oyo) noted that the nature of security impacted positively on the outcome of the championship
They said they are looking forward to the African Badminton Championship where they will represent Nigeria in Port Harcourt.
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media.
22 December, 2018.