AFCON 2023: A do or die for Super Eagles

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By Mathew Dadiya and Okechukwu Jombo

As Nigeria’s national football team, the Super Eagles file out against the Elephants of Ivory Coast today in a do or die final for who will lift the trophy, President Bola Tinubu, Senator David Mark among other prominent Nigerians have urged the team do everything humanly possible to make Nigeria and Nigerians happy by winning the trophy.

While Tinubu has called on all Nigerians, both at home and abroad to unite in support of the Super Eagles and to raise their voices in encouragement and create a wave of national pride that propels the team to glory at the finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire, former Senate President, David Mark has congratulated the Super Eagles for their outstanding performances so far at the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) holding in Ivory Coast.

The President directed Vice President, Kashim Shettima to lead a presidential team to the finals of the AFCON.

The Vice President had also represented the President at the semi-finals when the Super Eagles defeated South Africa in a pulsating encounter. The Nigerian national team is set to face hosts, Côte d’Ivoire, in a thrilling rematch at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan today.

“The match will rekindle the memories of Nigeria’s 1-0 victory in the group stage secured through Captain William Troost-Ekong’s penalty,” Tinubu noted in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Office of The Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha.

Recognizing the unifying power of football and the immense role the Super Eagles play in fostering national pride and unity, the President believes that Vice President Shettima’s presence at the finals alongside the delegation is a testament to the government’s unwavering support for the team and its dedication to their success.

Speaking further, Senator David Mark expressed his joy over the Super Eagles’ remarkable and dramatic victory over the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the semi-finals.

In the message to officials and players of the Super Eagles, the former Senate helmsman stated, “The match was full of suspense, twists and turns but in the end, Nigeria triumphed. This victory is hard won. We cannot take it for granted.”

“We are proud of how far you have come. Coming ahead on Sunday is the most important match of all. Go for the gold and bring the trophy home”, he added.

He specifically commended the Super Eagles’ head coach Jose Peseiro for his hard work and inspiration to the players at the event saying, “your strategy is result oriented.

According to Mark, “you have all displayed the can-do spirit of Nigerians to the whole world. Go into the final with full determination and team spirit”.

Recall that Senator Mark earlier sent a goodwill message to the team before the commencement of the tournament when he urged the team to go for victory all the way.

He reminded them that they carry the hopes and dreams of over 200 million Nigerians and their supporters from around the world.

Meanwhile, it remains worrisome why the other African countries hate Nigerians with such passion.

For instance, South Africa which Nigeria helped in their liberation struggles, threatened to die with Nigeria before being eliminated in the semi-final tussle.

Even after their elimination by Nigeria, South Africa has continued to threaten Nigerian goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali who is based in South Africa not to return to the country.

Ghanaians are also on record to have carried out various wicked political and economic activities against Nigeria in their country.

Cameroon is also not left out of threats against Nigeria.