Posted by Garba Ahmed, Kaduna | 10 February 2013 | 3,926 times
Congratulatory messages are pouring in for the Super Eagles who some minutes ago won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations played in South Africa, defeating hard-fighting Burkina Faso by a lone goal in the final match. Among the first to send their congratulations to the team are President Goodluck Jonathan, Governor Muktar Yero of Kaudna State, Co-ordinating Minister for the Economy/Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and former Information and Communications Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili.
Jonathan, in a statement by his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, thanked “Coach Stephen Keshi and all members of the team who worked very hard and played with great focus, dedication, artistry and patriotism to make Nigeria the proud champions of Africa once again after 19 years of setbacks in the competition.”
The President also commended the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdullahi, the president and members of the Nigerian Football Federation and all others who contributed to the astonishing transformation of the Super Eagles from underdogs to gallant winners and glorious soccer champions of the African continent.
“President Jonathan believes that the team’s amazing transformation from rank outsiders to champions is a clear manifestation of the even greater successes the country can achieve in all other fields of human endeavour if all Nigerians come together and devote their immense collective energies and resources to supporting the implementation of his Administration’s Agenda for National Transformation,” the statement said.
“Therefore, as the entire nation celebrates Nigeria’s remarkable triumph in South Africa, President Jonathan urges all Nigerians to imbibe the positive lessons of the Super Eagles’ success because the fulfilment of the country’s immense potentials for greatness will be more speedily attained if more Nigerians resolve to emulate the team’s exemplary unity of purpose, dedication, commitment and devotion to service of the nation,” the statement added.
It further said that “the President also believes that having conquered Africa, the new Super Eagles can go on to achieve even greater glory at the World Cup in Brazil next year. He assures the team that it will receive every necessary support and encouragement from the Federal Government for that next national assignment.”
Governor Yero in an interview during the victory celebration with journalists at the NUJ Kaduna Secretariat Viewing Centre said: “I am very happy because that is what we deserve and I will like to congratulate all Nigerians for wining this trophy because it is long overdue for us to win it.
“But nevertheless, they say better late than never and I think it came at the right time because it is only sports that unite the people of this country.
“I believe Nigerians will take a lesson from this and continue to be tolerant and be patient with each other so that we can have development in this country.
“The Kaduna State Government is going to do its own to appreciate the team. I believe the Federal Government will do something for them, then we too at the state level will do something for them.
“We are happy to see how the Super Eagles exhibited a lot of patriotism. I hope all Nigerians will do same so that we can continue to have greatness in the country.
“With one of the players from Kaduna United, I believe we are going to show more effort sin trying to revive Kaduna United and Ranchers Bees FC.
“Part of the plan we have in the state is to use sports as a tool of unity and peaceful coexistence in the state.”
Saluting the Eagles on her Facebook page, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala said: “Congratulations, our Superb Super Eagles. We are so proud of you! Your humility and focus are contagious. Congratulations, Stephen Keshi! Congratulations, Nigerians!”
On her part, Prof. Akunyili wrote on her Facebook wall: “Congratulations, Nigeria! Congratulations, Super Eagles! Thank you for justifying my confidence in you. Thank God for answering our prayers. And thanks to all those who believed in the team and prayed/worked hard for its success. To God be the glory!”
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