DON'T LET US DOWN, JONATHAN TELLS EAGLES
FOR President Goodluck Jonathan, today's 2012 African Nations Cup qualifier between the Super Eagles and their Guinean counterparts in Abuja is a special game that requires a special attention.
Jonathan, who is on a visit to some African countries, has sent in what has been described as 'Presidential Message' to the players and their officials not to let their fellow country people down. In clear terms, the President has told the team not only to beat Guinea, but also deliver the Nations Cup ticket today.
Speaking with The Guardian yesterday, the Sports minister and chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC) Yusuf Suleiman, said that the President is the No one sports-lover in the country and had directed him to convey his message to the players not to disappoint their fatherland in today's epic encounter against Guinea.
He said: 'I have delivered the special message from Mr. President to them (Super Eagles), when I visited them on Thursday. The team is a special brand of the country and they must ensure that the Nigerian national flag and anthem must not be missing as African countries file out for the 2012 African Nations Cup in Gabon/Equatorial Guinea. I will be there to cheer the Eagles from the beginning till the end of the match,' Suleiman said.
Meanwhile, Senate President, David Mark, will lead the 'operation crunch' Guinea today. The country's Number Three Citizen, an ardent fan of the Super Eagles, was leader of the Federal Government delegation to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa, and accompanied President Goodluck Jonathan to meet the players and officials at the Protea Hotel Wanderers in Johannesburg on the eve of their opening match of the tournament against Argentina.
Also expected at the big occasion today are Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Aminu Tambuwal, Governors of Bayelsa, Delta and Nasarawa States, cabinet ministers, senators, members of the House, the Inspector General of Police and other highly-placed Nigerian political and business leaders.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has also invited the three children of deceased Eagles' legend, Mudashiru Babatunde Lawal, who are based in Nigeria to be part of the match. The children, Olatunde, Bolanle and Abosede Muda-Lawal will all be part of the crowd cheering the Eagles to qualify for the African Cup of Nations, 31 years after their father scored the final goal that nailed Algeria and handed Nigeria her first Cup of Nations trophy.