Jonathan Lands In SA, Urges Eagles To Clinch World Cup


ABUJA, June 11, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has enjoined the national football team, the Super Eagles, to go all out to win the World Cup, while assuring them that the entire Nigerian nation is fully behind them.

He stated this Friday in a motivational session with the Super Eagles ahead of their crucial encounter against the national football team of Argentina later today.

President Jonathan noted that all African leaders want the World Cup to remain in Africa and they look up to Nigeria to achieve the feat, a statement by his Special Adviser Media and Publicity, Ima Niboro said.

"You are not only defending the pride of Nigeria, but the weight of the entire African continent is on you. I have come to encourage you and to assure you that all Nigerians are behind you. We are hoping you will win the cup and we wish you the best of good luck," Jonathan charged the team.

While noting a donation of One million US dollars for the team from Globacom chairman, Mike Adenuga, President Jonathan also urged other businessmen in the country to assist Government in supporting and motivating the Super Eagles to victory.

Senate President, David Mark, who is officially the Head of the Federal Government delegation to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, announced a prize money of One hundred thousand dollars from friends of the Super Eagles for every game they win.

He tasked the Super Eagles to be good sportsmen throughout the competition, noting that "we don’t want to win by all means, but by fair play."

Sports Minister, Ibrahim Bio, assured that the Eagles are in good shape to meet the high expectations of Nigerians and Africans, and thanked the President for his unwavering support for the national football teams.

Among dignitaries who accompanied the President to motivate the Eagles were the Governors of Ogun and Borno States, the Minister of Information and her Tourism counterpart, and the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Buba Marwa.

Meanwhile, President Jonathan was among prominent African and World leaders who graced the prestigious opening ceremony of the first ever World Cup on African soil, earlier today. The South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup opening ceremony was also historic as the first with the largest attendance of Presidents and heads of Government.

The President was accompanied to the 2010 World Cup opening ceremony by Senate President David Mark, Governors Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Gbenga Daniel of Ogun and Ali Modu Sherrif of Borno.

President Jonathan arrived the Waterkloof Airforce Base Airport in Pretoria, South Africa at about 5.00am local time and was received by Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa, Brig-Gen Buba Marwa, Foreign Affairs Minister, Odein Ajumogobia and his Sports counterpart, Ibrahim Bio.

He later had a breakfast parley with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and other African Heads of Government at the Presidential Palace in Pretoria before proceeding for the opening ceremony.

President Jonathan will address a cross section of the Nigerian Community in South Africa at the Burgers Park Hotel in Pretoria this morning before the Eagles' tournament opener with Argentina later in the day.