The governors of Lagos, Abia and Rivers states, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Alex Otti and Siminalayi Fubara, have commended the Super Eagles of Nigeria for making the country proud at the just concluded African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023.
Host country, Ivory Coast, came from behind to beat Nigeria 2-1 at the final of the biennial competition concluded inside the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast, on Sunday.
Speaking through a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, on Monday, Sanwo-Olu said the Super Eagles despite losing at the final of the AFCON to the host nation, deserved commendation for their superb performance in the competition.
Sanwo-Olu commended the players, the coaching crew and the entire management of the team for making Nigeria proud at the competition by reaching the final against all odds.
He said the Super Eagles fought gallantly to advance to the final of the Africa Cup of Nations by defeating many countries, noting that the participation of the team in the final on Sunday is a testament to the determination, resilience and commitment of the Super Eagles to the competition.
The governor urged Nigerians who have looked forward to Nigeria winning the AFCON Cup for the fourth time not to be discouraged by the outcome of the match against Ivory Coast.
He appealed to Lagos residents and Nigerians, particularly lovers of football, not to allow the defeat of the Super Eagles at the AFCON final to affect their love for the national team.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who provided venues for Lagos residents to watch the AFCON matches at the Mobolaji Johnson Sports Arena and 26 other centres across the State, urged Nigerians to continue to support national teams in future competitions.
Also in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, Governor Otti said even though the Super Eagles came short of lifting the trophy, the players gave their best and succeeded in further strengthening the nation’s image as a formidable force in African football.
He commended the Super Eagles for their unrelenting show of strength despite the intimidating roars of the home crowd, who dominated every inch of the stadium space, buoyed by the presence of the Ivorian President, Alassane Ouattara.
He specifically congratulated Samuel Chukwueze, Kenneth Omeruo and Frank Ogochukwu Onyeka, three sons of Abia State, who were part of the Super Eagles team to the AFCON 2023.
The Governor praised Chukwueze for providing the assist that saw the team captain, Troost Ekong, put Nigeria in the lead with a header, shortly before the end of the first half of the game.
While thanking Nigerians for the massive support they gave to the Super Eagles throughout the competition, Governor Otti also commended the team’s technical crew and the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) for their efforts which helped to take Nigeria to the finals of the AFCON.
Governor Fubara noted that despite emerging second, the Super Eagles have once again, re-established Nigeria’s position as a strong footballing nation to be reckoned with in Africa.
Congratulating all Nigerians for the feat in a statement signed by his media aide, Boniface Onyedi, the governor said the team worked so hard with dedication and unbridled passion to emerge second though they tried their utmost to win the coveted trophy.
Governor Fubara, particularly acknowledged the skillful goalkeeping and exceptional contributions of Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Stanley Nwabali, who hails from Rivers State, for demonstrating the dogged spirit that put the team in the finals for this celebrated second place.
The governor assured of his commitment to developing sports in the state as a means of empowering Rivers youths and galvanizing a major income earner that will contribute to boosting the economy of the state.