Buhari Dangles Carrots, U-23 Eagles End Strike
As Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles battle their Algerian counterparts in today’s final of the African U-23 Championship in Senegal, President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the boys not to let the country down.
Buhari’s message was convened to the team by Nigeria’s ambassador to Senegal and Mauritania, Katyen Jackden, who told the players and their officials that the Federal Government had assured that all the challenges they faced in the competition would be addressed.
Unknown to Nigerians back home, the players had embarked on strike over unpaid allowances and winning bonuses.
According to thenff.com, the ambassador gave the assurance on Thursday night when she played host to the players and officials at the Nigerian Embassy in Dakar.
Mrs. Jackden disclosed that President Buhari had been in touch with her on the issue. “I want all of you to take me by my words. Your entitlements will be paid unfailingly before the final.
“Since yesterday, the President has been in touch with me, same as the minister for sports, that I should tell you that your complaints have reached their table, and hopefully before Saturday (today), you will get your money.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to you to call off your strike, go back to training and win the trophy for the nation, Mr. President and your family. So far, you have been great ambassadors of the nation and am proud of you,” the Ambassador said.
Responding on behalf of the team, team captain, Azubuike Okechukwu, said based on appeal from Mr. President, the players had decided to call off their strike, return to training and will do everything within their power to lift the trophy today.