By Ismaila Chafe
Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Super Eagles on their victory over the Chipolopolo of Zambia, describing it as “very sweet, soothing and a 57th Independence Anniversary gift to the nation.”
The Super Eagles, at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom, on Saturday defeated the Zambian national football team by 1 – 0 through a goal by Alex Iwobi.
The President, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, applauded the Super Eagles for the feat of making Nigeria the first African country to qualify for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, with a match left to play.
He, therefore, joined millions of football-loving Nigerians in rejoicing with the players and their coaching crew
President Buhari called on all Nigerians to apply the values of perseverance, resilience, discipline, hard work and team-spirit, which propelled the players to excel since the beginning of the qualifying matches, to all sectors of national life.
The President promised that the Federal Government would continue to support the team within available resources so that the nation will maximise the unifying potentials of sports in general and football in particular.
He enjoined the entire team and Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) officials to “remain steadfast and focused when they begin preparations for the global football fiesta in order to make Nigeria proud’’.
President Buhari urged public, private organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to continue to assist the Super Eagles as the team heads for a sixth appearance in the summit of football competition.
The President also thanked the government of Akwa Ibom State for the invaluable support it had been rendering to the football team, describing it as worthy of emulation.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria, with an away-match left to play against the Algerian national team, has already qualified for the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia with an unassailable 6-point lead after 5 matches in