….. Gift Team MON National Awards, Flat, Land In Abuja
A grateful Nigeria nation has showered National Honours and material gifts on players and officials of the Senior Men National Football Team, Super Eagles for reaching the Final of the Africa Cup of Nations championship concluded in Cote d’Ivoire on Sunday.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu told members of the team at the Council Chambers, State House, Abuja on Tuesday: “I am very proud of you. This country is proud of you because you gave us great excitement. Your performance is confirmation that we can achieve so much as a nation if we all come together and unite for positive purposes, despite our diversity.”
“You worked very hard and navigated your way through to the Final. You lifted our spirit; you made us proud and you made us smile.”
The President then conferred National Awards of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) on all the players and their officials, as well as President of NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau and the NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.
All the 25 players and their officials are now also proud owners of a flat each in the Federal Capital Territory, as well as a plot of land each also in the Federal Capital Territory.
President Tinubu described defender and vice captain William Ekong, named Player of the Tournament, as a ‘warrior’ and named Africa Player of the Year, Victor Osimhen as ‘Trojan horse’. He praised the Federal Ministry of Sports and the Nigeria Football Federation for their efforts in preparing the team for glory.
Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh described President Tinubu as the biggest sports-supporting President that Nigeria has ever had, and lauded the Nigeria Football Federation for ensuring that for the first time in a long time, Nigeria has returned from a major sporting competition without any crisis or complaints of any kind by the athletes.
Responding, Ekong, on behalf of the entire, thanked the President for the awards and gifts: “I wish we are here presenting Your Excellency with the trophy, but that is not the case despite giving our very best to the campaign. We have two people in this team who have gold medals, each sitting on either side of me (Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo). In 2019, we won bronze medals. This time, we won silver medals. I believe that at the next competition, we will strike gold.”
Also at the occasion were Vice President Kashim Shettima; Alhaji Tajudeen Abbas (Speaker of the House of Representatives); Chief George Akume (Secretary to the Government of the Federation); Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (Chief of Staff to the President); Dr. Jamila Bio Ibrahim (Minister of Youth Development); Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (Minister of the FCT); Mrs Tinuke Watti (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports Development), Board Members of the NFF and other top government officials.