The magnificent feat achieved by the Super Eagles of Nigeria on Sunday is still attracting encomium from deferent quarters with the Bauchi State Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, stating that it was a very sweet one considering the ranting of the star-studded Ivoirien team before the match.
Yuguda in a press statement issued and signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Ishola Michael Adeyemi, and made available to THISDAY Monday described the victory as a sweet one considering the rating of the national team before the tournament, adding that with the victory Nigeria could expect to see the cup in the country as was done in the pat years.
The sports loving governor said that both the players and technical crew of the Super Eagles demonstrated the determined spirit of Nigerians with the way they took the match seriously as if their lives depended on the outcome. He pointed out that what was done on the pitch was a confirmation of the rebuilding of Nigeria by the present administration.
He said the team has made Nigerians proud by defeating a highly rated team like Cote d'Ivoire that boasted the likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure, Salmon Kalou and a host of other world stars.
In his own reaction, Head of Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Hon. Nduka Irabor, hailed the impact of the home-based players in the Eagles performances so far especially Enugu Rangers player, Sunday Mba, who scored the decisive goal that took Nigeria to the semi-final.
Six of the 23 players coach Stephen Keshi took to the 2013 AFCON play in the Nigerian league. They include: Chigozie Agbim, Oboabona Godfrey, Egwueke Azubuike, Reuben Gabriel, Ejike Uzoenyi and Sunday Mba.
Irabor said the performance of the home-based players, especially Oboabona and Mba not only shows what the NPL based players can do if given the opportunity, their performance also shows why all hands must be on the deck to ensure the revival of the Nigerian pro league
"Oboabona and Mba have been outstanding. Their performance shows the level of talent in our league and if we can all join hands and revive the league, the sky will be the limit for our football. I know there are hundreds of talented players in Nigeria, all we need do is to build a credible league where players are well remunerated and fashion a good youth development programme to discover and nurture talents," he said.
The NPL chief is positive that if we all join hands to achieve this, "we can build a team that will surpass the feats of 1994 Eagles."
He urged Nigerians, especially the corporate bodies, to join hands with IMC to ensure the revival of the league.
He also advised the Eagles to forget about the victory over Cote d'Ivoire and focus on Mali, a team he believes is very tough.
"I am happy that our boys not only beat Cote d'Ivoire, but that they also played well, but I want to advise them to forget about the Ivoiriens and focus more on the game against Mali. I know Mali is tough, but if they can reproduce the performance they gave against Cote d'Ivoire, they will beat Mali and qualify for the finals, and ultimately bring home the trophy," Irabor said on a final note.
Similarly, MultiChoice Nigeria, the leading pay television service provider in the country, urged the team not to relent on its effort to bring the trophy back home to Nigeria
In a statement, the Managing Director of the company, Mr. John Ugbe, extolled the team for the determination, hard work and tactical discipline - qualities that helped the Super Eagles see off the challenge of their West African rivals, Cote d' Ivoire, to clinch a place in the semi-finals of the competition
Ugbe urged coach Stephen Keshi and the team to remain steadfast in the quest to win the most prestigious continental soccer competition almost 20 years after the country's last triumph in 1994.
"MultiChoice will continue to support the Super Eagles by providing access to many Nigerians to watch the matches of the National team and the entire competition on DStv," Ugbe said.