Saliu Ali-Baba, the Golden Eaglets’ midfielder at the recently concluded 2013 CAN U-17 Championship in Morocco, was the cynosure of all eyes at the Niger State Sports Council in Minna on Tuesday when he was extolled for his exemplary conduct over the years amongst other things.
Ali-Baba, who was the erstwhile captain of the National Under-13 and 15 teams, was commended for been a good ambassador of the Power State by the state’s Commissioner for Sports Development, Dan Shashare.
In a brief symbolic ceremony where Ali-Baba was decorated with the silver medal won at the CAN Under-17 in Morocco in the presence of staff of the sports council, Shashare enjoined the lad to continue to be of good behaviour any time he is on national assignment, adding that he has confidence in his future opportunities.
“I’m happy to be commended in the presence of staff of the council,” said Ali-Baba. “This recognition is important and it would also motivate me to continue to do my best.”
In the Golden Eaglets, Ali-Baba is one of the team’s speakers at important functions and was well highly praised for the deft manner he handled post-match interviews following the team’s loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the Golden Eaglets’ second group match.
“Your boy (Ali-Baba) is smart,” Ms Dounia Lahrech, the Media officer of Federation Royale Marocaine de Football. “He spoke with maturity and I’m very impressed about how he answered the questions.”
Meanwhile, Ali-Baba, along with other athletes that recently won laurels for the state, would soon be formally hosted by the Chief Servant, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, the Governor of Niger State, where he would expectedly announce packages.