The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has urged the Super Eagles to keep on winning, just as he praised them, saying they have been making Nigerians proud.
Buhari said this while giving the team a pep talk via video conference ahead of their African Cup Of Nations Round of 16 clash with Tunisia on Sunday.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
According to Adesina, the President spoke with Super Eagles coach Augustine Eguavoen, Captain Ahmed Musa, President of Nigerian Football Federation Amaju Pinnick, and Nigerian Ambassador to Cameroon, Gen Abayomi Olonisakin (retd).
He said Buhari mentioned two of the players, Kelechi Iheanacho and Moses Simon, by name, urging the Super Eagles to continue making Nigerians happy, not only by winning the second round match, but by eventually lifting the trophy.
He quoted Buhari as saying, “You’ve been doing Nigeria proud. You’ve been winning. Please keep on winning. The Federal Government is supporting you, and I say thank you to all the technical crew and the players. Please keep doing the country proud.”
The President applauded the good work being done by the Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, saying the country appreciates it.
Responding, Coach Eguavoen said, “We are so excited that His Excellency, President Buhari, has come to speak with us this morning. On behalf of the players and the technical crew, I want to say thank you very much sir.
“The group stage has passed, and your speaking to us is a morale booster. Thank you for your support, Mr President, we also thank the Hon. Minister, and the NFF President. We are so privileged, and want to promise that you should just relax, we’ll come out victorious. We won’t let the nation down.”
On his part Ambassador Olonisakin said the over four million Nigerians living in Cameroon have been giving robust support to the Super Eagles since they arrived Garoua, Cameroon, on January 5, “and they will continue to do so.”
Speaking on behalf of the players, Ahmed Musa, appreciated the President, noting that it is not easy to speak with the leader of a country, adding that they count themselves privileged.
“We will make Nigeria proud, now that we have the blessings of the father of the nation,” Musa said.
NFF President, Asaju Pinnick described the video conference as “a priceless privilege,” and thanked the President and the nation at large for their
prayers and support.
He said under the current dispensation, Nigeria has won the Under 17 football tournament twice, “and we want to win the African Cup of Nations too.”