For lovers only: If Keshi were St. Valentine

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BY ADEBAYO CALEB, OAU

The much awaited Valentine season is here again; just a few days after Nigeria reiterated its position as giants of Africa. Hopes are rising everywhere, with the word ‘love’ being used rampantly and consequently losing its much coveted meaning.

Only on Sunday, Stephen Keshi, the coach of the Nigerian Super Eagles delivered a landmark victory in South Africa at the Orange African Cup of Nations. This was seen as a divine intervention by many as they proclaimed their love for the coach and the country.

Coach of the Nigerian football team Stephen Keshi speaks to journalists at the airport in Abuja on February 12, 2013. The newly crowned African champions Nigerian Super Eagles arrives in Abuja to a warm reception by fans and government officials after defeating Burkina Faso to win the 2013 African Cup of Nations in South Africa. AFP PHOTO

` Coach of the Nigerian football team Stephen Keshi speaks to journalists at the airport in Abuja on February 12, 2013.  AFP PHOTO

Indeed, Stephen Keshi had delivered Nigerians a Valentine gift. The passion with which the Super Eagles competed in the tournament for the past weeks was invigorating, something that could only have been borne by a love for motherland.

St. Valentine was an ancient martyr who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry under the Roman Empire. He is further said to have healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. St Valentine, while dying was said to have inscribed ‘From your Valentine’.

On the other hand, St. Keshi, as I would call him, is an ancient Nigerian player turned coach who was almost sacked for choosing players who had never faced AFCON battles under the Nigerian empire.

He is further said to have healed Nigeria of her long-standing football ill-luck.

However, while St. Valentine had to die for his cause, St. Keshi did not have to die for his, instead, he remained to  get more victories.

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