Former president of the Nigeria Judo Federation, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has decided to pull out of the race to become President of the Weightlifting Federation of Nigeria.
This decision was reached after due consultation with friends who advised him to pull his weight behind another contestant, Lawrence Iquaibom , a former commonwealth champion and an Olympian of high repute in the sport.
As Africa’s Pillar of Sports, Kalu reckons that he needs to play the big brother role to a former Olympian who has indeed invested his passion and money into developing the sport at state and National levels and should not be seen as an elder who wants to reap where he has not sowed.
“My intention was clear from the onset. I wanted to return Weightlifting to where it used to be. This is one sport that can give us medals at major international competitions. Everyone know what i achieved as President of the Nigeria Judo Dederation and now, as Chief Whip of the Nigeria Senate, i thought I could support Weightlifting, as part of my contribution to youth development.
“However, after due consultations with stakeholders of the sport, I realized that a former Olympian and one time commonwealth champion is already in the race and I thought that there is need to encourage him since he has same zeal to move the sport forward.
“On my part, I am willing to offer any kind of support if need be to the federation whenever necessary. Since we have the same intentions, which is to rebrand Weightlifting in Nigeria. There is absolutely no need to contest against a young and committed stakeholder who truly has the interest of the sport at heart” Kalu said.
Lawrence Iquaibom is a retired Director of Sports in Akwa Ibom State and an ex-Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Akwa Ibom, who has invested so much in grassroot development of the sport at both state and National levels and has continued to lobby key stakeholders to support his dream of becoming the President of the Weightlifting Federation of Nigeria.
He certainly will be happy to work with a respected personality, passionate sports lover and philanthropist like Senator Orji Uzor Kalu.