The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) has congratulated its President Hon. Daniel Igali on his recent appointment as the Commissioner for Sports in Bayelsa State.
The Olympic and World wrestling champion was on Wednesday assigned the sports portfolio, a few months after being named a Commissioner by Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.
In a statement signed by its Secretary-General Umar Lambu, the Nigeria Wrestling Federation described Igali’s appointment as a well-deserved one, expressing hope that the erstwhile Lawmaker will use his wealth of experience to bring positive change to Sports in Bayelsa State.
“No doubt your appointment is predicated not only on your wealth of experiences being a former vibrant State Legislator who stood distinctively among your contemporaries but is also premised on your enormous contributions towards ensuring enduring democratic governance in Bayelsa State,” the statement read in part.
“As a World and Olympic champion in wrestling, we have every reason to congratulate you on this important milestone, praying that the Almighty God will give you the wisdom, strength, and determination to discharge your duties diligently to justify the confidence reposed in you.”
The seasoned administrator has been at the helm of wrestling in Nigeria since 2013 when he won his first four-year mandate. He was re-elected in 2017.
Under his watch, the sport has witnessed a meteoric rise in fortunes, with Team Nigeria dominating several continental and global competitions.
Before his latest appointment, Igali was a staunch member of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly from 2011 to 2019, and also headed the House Committees on Sports and Agriculture, among other positions of service to his state of origin and Nigeria at large.
As an athlete, Igali won several National and International titles for Nigeria before switching allegiance to Canada after the 1994 Commonwealth Games. He went on to win a gold medal for his adopted country at the 1999 World Championships in Ankara, Turkey, becoming the first Canadian World champion in wrestling.
A year later, the 45-year-old cemented his place in history, claiming Olympic gold in the 69kg freestyle event in Sydney, Australia.