Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has urged the Super Eagles to give their best to win the Africa Cup of Nations (#AFCON2023) in Cote d’Ivoire.
The Governor charged the Super Eagles to make Nigeria proud at the 34th edition of the #AFCON2023 by winning the Continental Cup for a fourth time, having won the title in 1980, 1994, and 2013.
Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke on Tuesday night at the dinner he hosted for the Super Eagles team at the Lagos House, Marina, after they returned from their training camp in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The Super Eagles, who were dressed in tops inscribed with the slogan ‘Let’s do it again’ were in high spirits during the dinner attended by the First Lady, Dr. Joke Sanwo-Olu, Minister for Sports Development, Senator John Enoh; President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Ibrahim Musa Gusau and his immediate predecessor Amaju Pinnick, among others.
Sanwo-Olu, who assured the Super Eagles of his support and that of over 200 million Nigerians, who will derive a lot of pride and joy in the team’s success at the AFCON, implored the Ahmed Musa-led team to work together as a team and not rely on individuals.
He tasked the Super Eagles players who were in high spirits to aim for glory in Cote d’Ivoire and give their best to bring the trophy home.
“You (Super Eagles players) are the country unifiers; there is an excitement in the heart of over 220 million Nigerians.
“We believe we have men that can do it for us. Believe in yourself, and don’t give up in Côte d’Ivoire.
“We can’t say we want to do it again by mouth; you must give your best, work as a team. It is not an individual sport; it is a team sport.
“Personally, I have committed myself that I will be in Abidjan for the games on Sunday and support the team.
“I want to assure you that our best wish is to do it for our country. We pray that God will give you the strength to do it.
“Winning the AFCON will be the best New Year present that you can give to us. It will be the best palliative that you can give to us. It will be the best of everything. We have to do it again.
“It has been 10 years; it is such a long time ago but we want it back into our country again,” Governor Sanwo-Olu charges Super Eagles players.”
Speaking on why he organised a dinner for the Super Eagles ahead of their departure to Cote d’Ivoire,
Sanwo-Olu said: “The occasion is to encourage the team and tell them the nation is behind them and wishing them the very best. More importantly, we thank Mr. President for showing leadership by ensuring that all they required has been provided and also wish them well.
“We also thank the team and the coaching crew for ensuring that what we know as the historic relationship between Lagos and the Super Eagles is recreated here today.
“They have assured us they will do it again like they did 10 years ago in South Africa.
We need a unifier at this time to bring out the Nigerian in all of us, and sports remains the beacon of hope and togetherness to remind us that we are one.”
Speaking earlier, Minister of Sports, Senator John Enoh, also charged the Super Eagles team to win the African Nations Cup.
The Minister described the reception as a demonstration of support the team has from Nigerians.
“The outcome of the tournament will restore joy and happiness to homes. There is no better time for this team to conquer Africa and be at the top of African football. We need to win this for the country and President who is a sports enthusiast himself.
“The team is in high spirits and we are hoping to be the best,” he said.
Responding, Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa described football as the only sport that unites Nigerians.
He assured that with the support and prayers of Nigerians they will make the country proud during the Nations Cup.