Buhari, others laud Golden Eaglets’ victory
• They represent the indomitable Nigerian spirit’
• ‘Shows Nigerians have a lot to offer the world’
PRESIDENT Muhamnadu Buhari yesterday congratulated the victorious Golden Eaglets for their feat in defeating their Malian counterparts in the U-17 World FIFA Cup in Chile .
He said their performance was an indication that the indomitable Nigerian spirit was alive and well.
The ruling APC and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also congratulated the Golden Eaglet, describing their victory as a bold statement that Nigeria, as a country is endowed with enormous talents and potentials waiting to be exhibited to the entire world.
A statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina said Buhari “On behalf of the Federal Government and millions of very happy and proud Nigerians, congratulates the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria on their victory over Mali in the final match of this year’s Under-17 FIFA World Cup tournament in Chile.”
According to the statement, “President Buhari applauds the exemplary zeal, determination, commitment, hard work, patriotism and soccer artistry which the youthful Golden Eaglets put on display throughout the tournament to win the championship for a record fifth time.
The President notes with delight that the Golden Eaglets not only won the coveted Under-17 FIFA World Cup, but they are also bringing home highly-valued individual awards such as the Golden Boot won by Victor Osimhen for being the tournament’s highest goal scorer and the Golden Ball, won by the team captain, Kelechi Nwakali for being the best player.
“President Buhari believes that by their triumph in Chile, the Golden Eaglets have shown the world that the indomitable Nigerian spirit is alive and waxing stronger.”
For the President, the Golden Eaglets’ latest victory on the global stage is an affirmation of the significant progress Nigeria is now making towards positively redefining and rediscovering its potential for greatness in the comity of nations.
“President Buhari trusts that if all other Nigerians imbibe and exhibit the doggedness, determination and patriotism displayed by their youthful compatriots in Chile, Nigeria will surely make faster progress towards becoming the strong, united, peaceful, secure and prosperous nation envisioned by its people.
The President joins other proud Nigerians in awaiting the Golden Eaglets triumphant return to a heroes’ welcome from a joyous and grateful nation.”
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement yesterday said the victory further expressed the resilient spirit of Nigerians ‘despite a discouraging government that has not only shown an obvious inability to chart a clear course of governance and the future
of the youth, but also refused to acknowledge the potentials in its
The victory, the PDP notes, repudiates “series of uninspiring and negative utterances and actions” of the president and the All Progressives Congress government that has been de-marketing the nation in the international arena.
“The time has come for us to dwell less on our negatives but to showcase the positives, the talents and indeed the natural resources waiting to be harnessed and exhibited for foreign investments and participation in our economy.”
The PDP said the victory should be a wake up call on Buhari to recognize “the hardworking spirit of Nigerians, our overflowing talents and natural endowments.”
Also delighted by Nigeria’s triumph in Chile, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said the superlative performance of the Golden Eaglets epitomised the can-do spirit of Nigerians.
In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party also said the harvest of honours by the team is a reflection of the nation’s ongoing rebirth under the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, who incidentally was also the leader of the country when it won the inaugural Under-17 World Cup, known then as FIFA Under-16 World Championship, in China in 1985.
‘’As President Buhari has always said, Nigeria has what it takes to surmount any obstacle and to excel in all areas of human endeavour. There is no better affirmation of that statement than the fact that our young footballers have achieved a feat that no other nation has achieved-winning the U-17 World Cup five times and in grand style.
‘’We hail the determination, doggedness, discipline and patriotism of the Golden Eaglets and their officials, and we have no doubt that the team’s success will reverberate not only in the sports sector but in all other areas, as the APC-led Federal Government kick-start national rejuvenation process,’’ APC said.
Also congratulating the Golden Eaglets, Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed, said, “This is a profound and unique instance of history repeating itself on a positive note, especially when it is recalled that in 30 years Nigeria has now won the cup five times. In the process, winning it back to back and throwing up all time highest goal scorer in Victor Osimhen, thus earning the bragging rights as the best age grade football nation in the world,” he said.
Governor Ahmed noted that Eaglets success at the age grade football was premised on unity of purpose, desire and resolve to succeed without submitting to the divisive tendencies of ethno-religious bigotry.
“If on the field of play Nigerians never bothered where each player comes from, if the religious persuasions or lack of it, of each player never raised any concern; if as a nation we can rally round our teams in unison without such ethno-religious biases why can’t we translate such high qualities of patriotism into other aspects of our national life,” the governor wondered.
While congratulating the Golden Eaglets, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, in a
a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said the resilience of the Eaglets to go all the way to defend their title which they won in the UAE two years ago was typical of the Nigerian spirit in the face of any daunting challenge.
“This is another eloquent testimony to the fact that Nigeria is a great country with enormous potential and we can achieve anything and everything if we are united and determined towards a course or a target.
“In the opening minutes of the final match when the Nigerian team lost a penalty, they did not lose their heads, but remained focused on the task. Even when they went two goals ahead, they didn’t allow complacency to set in. This is commendable and inspiring and I can only hope that it signals the beginning of the return to the glory days of Nigerian football.”