President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has congratulated the Super Eagles of Nigeria on their 2-0 victory over Ethiopia on Saturday in Calabar, Cross River State, which has earned Nigeria a slot at the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil.
Jonathan joined other proud and happy Nigerians in applauding the Super Eagles’ dogged and determined performance against the Ethiopians over the two legs of the final qualifying round, which ensured away and home victories, and also ensured that Nigeria will be at the World Cup finals for the fifth time.
Other prominent Nigerians who congratulated the Super Eagles for the feat on Saturday evening were the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark; the Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole; a former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu; and Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
A statement by presidential aide, Dr. Reuben Abati, said: “The President also commends the team’s performance in all the preceding qualifying matches and the consistent commitment and dedication of the players to building on their victory at this year’s African Nations Cup by qualifying for the World Cup Finals and bringing further glory to their fatherland.
“As the team and its handlers bask in the glory of being the first African country to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, President Jonathan urges them to rededicate themselves to excelling on the global stage and reaching for heights never previously attained by the country at the World Cup Finals.
“The President believes that with the enormous pool of footballing talent available to the country, the Super Eagles can, with more hardwork, dedication, resilience and further honing of their skills and tactics, fulfil the national dream of being the first African Nation to win the world cup.
“He assures the NFF and the team, of the fullest possible support of the Federal Government and all Nigerians in their quest to win even greater glory for Nigeria at the world cup finals in Brazil.
Mark showered encomium on the Super Eagles of Nigeria for beating their Ethiopian counterparts and qualifying for the Brazil 2014 World Cup finals.
Mark, in a congratulatory message to the Stephen Keshi-led coaching crew and the players, thanked them for sustaining the winning streak that has taken them thus far.
He noted that Nigeria is once again back to reckoning in the international sporting arena, saying that everything necessary should be done to make appreciable impact in Brazil 2014.
He said: “I am glad that we are back to the international reckoning in football.
“We must do the needful to sustain and improve on this high rating.
“Our Super Eagles have proven to be the authentic African champions.”
Oshiomhole, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria, said the Eagles have done Nigeria and indeed Africa proud by the qualification.
He said: “The Super Eagles have shown that they are indeed the Champions of Africa by emerging the first country from the continent to qualify for the World cup, joining the ranks of other great football nations like Germany, Netherlands, Spain and England, among others, who have already qualified.
“The Eagles qualification, a few days after the nation’s youngsters won the Under-17 World Cup shows a resurgence in the belief by Nigerians that with zeal, sacrifice, patience and team work, a great deal can be achieved.
“However, with this qualification comes more hard work. I appeal to the Nigeria Football Federation, the coaches and other handlers of the team not to rest on their oars but do all that is needful to ensure that the Eagles beat our best World Cup record. I wish the Eagles success in Brazil, and our prayers are with them to emerge victorious in Brazil.”
For earning yet another mundial ticket, Keshi got maximum backing from Kalu.
Kalu, in a statement by his media aide, Emeka Obasi, said: “Keshi has done noble. Kudos to the Eagles. The labourer deserves his wages. I will pray for Keshi to lead us to Brazil,”
Saraki also saluted the Super Eagles for their qualification for the 2014 World Cup finals.
Saraki, in a statement by his Media Office shortly after the Super Eagles defeated the Waylas Antelope of Ethiopia in Calabar, Cross River State for their fifth appearance at the World Cup final, said the team has done Nigeria and Nigerians proud.
He said: “It would have been unthinkable for Nigeria not to have made it to the World Cup finals.
“Not with the impressive runs of the country’s national teams so far this year.
“The Super Eagles started the good run with a resounding win at the African Cup of Nations, while the Golden Eaglets followed suit by lifting the FIFA Under-17 World Cup.”
Saraki urged the Nigeria Football Federation to ensure that the team is put in the right condition for the World Cup so that it could surpass its round of 16 appearances, which was the best it achieved in past World Cup finals.
He added: “And this should start with the prompt payment of the salary of the Head Coach of the team, Stephen Keshi.
“So also should the row over bonus be fully resolved before the World Cup starts.
“I can only wish the team the best as it is almost certain that Nigeria’s football is back on the right pedestal.”