By Fortune Eromosele, Abuja
Smiles have been put on the faces of the 1994 Super Eagles teams as they have finally received their Certificate of Occupancy from the federal government for winning the African Cup of Nations.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, handed over the certificates on behalf of the federal government in Abuja.
He said that although the fulfilment of the promise came late, the federal government ensured that the pledge be redeemed.
Fashola said, “The federal government ensured that we redeem the allocation of houses to the Super Eagles after they won the 1994 African Cup of Nations. This fulfilment comes under the National Housing Programme.
“We also allocated members who are beneficiaries to choose the state, or places where they want their houses to be. All of these has been done, now, we decided that the handing over of the keys will be at the commissioning site of their various states, so that there would be no more gaps to fill.
“The promise is late enough and we had to ensure that it doesn’t delay any further. But the good news is that the promise as late as it is, has been redeemed.”
Giving his vote of thanks, Austin Okocha, said “I’m so delighted that this has finally happened after 28 years. This administration has done extremely well for fulfilling this promise. So I want to say here on behalf of my colleagues that we are very grateful for this from the bottom of our hearts.
“Also, I want to use this opportunity to apologise to the federal government and Nigerians for not getting the world cup ticket. I want to assure us that there are still better days ahead. Even at that the federal government still went ahead to fulfil their promise, we are grateful.”
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had last month redeemed houses allocated to the 22 members of the 1994 Supper Eagles.
The Super Eagles defeated Zambia 2-1 in the 1994 nation’s cup final to win their second title. Nigeria won the 1994 edition of the Nations Cup hosted by Tunisia, with a set of players considered the greatest team in the history of Nigerian football.
Among the 1994 team were: Austin Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, Samson Siasia, Steven Keshi, Augustine Eguavoen, Emmanuel Amuneke, Rasheed Yekini, Victor Ikpeba, Mutiu Adepoju, among others.
Rashidi Yekini, Uche Okafor, Thompson Oliha, Wilfred Agbonavbare and Steven Keshi, who played for Nigeria in that tournament have passed on.