By BEN AGANDE, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday charged the Super Eagles to not only ensure that Nigeria qualifies for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil but to play in the final of the competition.
The President made the charge at the formal presentation of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations trophy to members of the Federal Executive Council by the Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, President Jonathan also announced a donation of N5Million naira to the supporters club for their dogged support of the national team.
Speaking on his dream for the 2014 World Cup, President Jonathan said since the Super Eagles had come this far, they must ensure that they not only qualify for the competition but play in the final.
”I want to thank the Minister of Sports and the of course, the NFF which has always been associated with a lot of stories for this feat. If you had lost, you would have been humiliated.
”I know that it is challenging to manage a team. We will continue to praise and encourage the boys and charge them to ensure they qualify for the World Cup and get to the final,” the President said repeatedly.
Announcing a N5m donation for the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, the number one citizen said, “We also commend the supporters’ club. This really escaped me yesterday (on Tuesday) when we were announcing gifts for the players.
”Government will give the club N5m to encourage them. It is not easy supporting a team, be singing and dancing even when it seems the team is not winning. We need to encourage them” the president said.
While presenting the cup to the federal Executive Council, the Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said the victory of the Super Eagles was a vindication that God answers prayers.
”We can conveniently say that God has answered our prayers after 19 years of waiting. With the winning, the mood of the country has changed. God rewarded the President’s passion and commitment because before now, past administrations tried without success. God ordained it that this will happen during your (Jonathan’s) time,” he said.