President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Super Eagles to act like “true soldiers and warriors” and do Nigeria proud at the forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) by lifting the coveted trophy in Cameroon.
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, conveyed the president’s message at a ceremony for the team on Tuesday in Abuja ahead of their departure to Cameroon.
“I bring to you very warm greetings and best wishes from the President and Commander in Chief, Muhammadu Buhari. He sends you forth with a clear message of total support and trust in your ability to do Nigeria proud,” the sports minister stated.
On Wednesday, the Eagles will depart Abuja aboard a chartered flight for the football fiesta, which runs from January 9 to February 6 in Cameroon.
Mr Dare, represented by the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, explained that Mr Buhari had pledged the nation’s full support for the team.
According to him, the president believes “this Super Eagles squad” has the skills and talents to excel at the Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
“Nigerians are fully behind you,” Mr Dare added.
He appealed to the players to show the Nigerian spirit of determination in their quest for a fourth AFCON trophy.
“We are also appealing to you to demonstrate the Nigerian spirit of determination, focus, resilience, discipline, and conquest on and off the pitch,” urged the minister. “You have to believe in yourselves, be confident in your own abilities and show trust in your coaches and officials.”
He stressed that as the Eagles carry the hopes and aspirations of millions of Nigerians, the federal government and the entire nation will be behind them.
“Be patriotic, defend the green and white flag of Nigeria, fight for her pride and honour like the true soldiers and warriors that you are,” Mr Dare said.
The Super Eagles are in Group D. They will open their campaign in Garoua against Egypt on January 11, Sudan on January 15, and Guinea Bissau on January 19.