President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Super Eagles on their victory Saturday over the Chipolopolo of Zambia at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The President, who described the hard-earned victory as “very sweet, soothing and a 57th Independence Anniversary gift to the nation,” applauded the nation’s senior men’s football team for the feat of making Nigeria the first African country to qualify for Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament, with a match left to play.
A statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) said that “as he joined millions of football-loving Nigerians in rejoicing with the players and their coaching crew, President Buhari called on all Nigerians to apply the values of perseverance, resilience, discipline, hard work and team-spirit which propelled the footballers to excel since the beginning of the qualifying matches, to all sectors of national life.
“The President promised that the Federal Government will continue to support the team within available resources so that the nation will maximise the unifying potentials of sports in general and football in particular.
“He enjoined the entire team and Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) officials to remain steadfast and focused when they begin preparations for the global football fiesta in order to make Nigeria proud.
“President Buhari urged public, private organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to continue to assist the Super Eagles as the team heads for a sixth appearance at the summit of football competition.
“The President also appreciated the government of Akwa Ibom State for the invaluable support it has been rendering to the football team, describing it as worthy of emulation.”
President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Saturday, also congratulated the Nigerian Super Eagles and all Nigerians on the nation’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup, scheduled to hold in Russia next year.
Saraki, in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media & Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said that he was in Uyo and witnessed firsthand the dedication, poise and consistency of our players, adding that these attributes of the team have given hope to all Nigerians that our team will represent Africa well at the next World Cup.
“I want to congratulate our players for the way they played throughout the whole qualifying phase,” the Senate President said, “From the way that they continue to play and improve, it is my hope, and the hope of millions across the country that our Super Eagles will represent our nation and the continent well at next year’s World Cup.”
The Senate President also stated that the Senate would work to ensure that our players are well equipped and well-prepared for the 2018 outing, while also urging the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and the Ministry of Sports to not take their feet off the pedal ahead of 2018.
“Right now, we must begin to plan and work towards victory for our Super Eagles,” Saraki said, “They have made us proud on the field, now, the NFF, the Ministry of Sports, the sponsors, and all concerned stakeholders must work together to ensure that our players and the team thrives at the World Cup.
“As our players continue to make us all proud and demonstrate the greatness in our diversity, I want to also congratulate all Nigerians. We can truly achieve great things when we work and stand together.”
In his own message, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, congratulated the Nigerian Super Eagles on their well-deserved victory over Zambia which qualified them for the 2018 World Cup finals in Russia.
In a statement issued by Turaki Hassan, his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Dogara hailed members of the national team for their dedication and patriotism, and commitment to doing Nigeria proud.
“The Super Eagles have once again made us all very proud. Being the first African team to qualify for the World Cup is no small feat, and the sense of patriotism and dedication to national duty must be commended by all”, he said.
He further pledged the commitment of the House of Representatives to prioritising sports development and ensuring better welfare for athletes.
“The team can rest assured that they will always have the support of the House, as we’ve proven over time that the welfare of our athletes and development of sports in the country are of utmost importance to us.”
“They have done a great job flying the Nigerian flag and we wish them success at the World Cup tournament in Russia next year.”
The Speaker called for early preparations for the 2018 World Cup.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State equally congratulated the Super Eagles for becoming the first African team to qualify for next year’s soccer World Cup dubbed Russia 2018.
In a statement issued Saturday in Sokoto by his spokesman, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal urged football authorities to sustain the tempo until they make the country proud in Russia.
“This feat is not a fluke. The Super Eagles have in the past set a standard which today’s generation of players are striving to surpass.
“The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) should not relent on its oars until it achieves the ultimate target of doing exceptionally well at the Mundial.
“The team should prepare early. But before then, they should not forget to finish the job against Algeria in the last qualification match for the group,” the statement added.
While congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians for the milestone achieved, Tambuwal commended the Super Eagles players and their technical crew for their show of patriotism and commitment and especially for their determination to make the country proud.
“You have the blessings and prayers of all Nigerians as you march to Russia in 2018,” he added.