In a ceremony held at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Bola Tinubu awarded the Super Eagles of Nigeria with the national honor of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), alongside plots of land and flats in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The announcement came during the reception of the team and officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) by President Tinubu.
The delegation, led by the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, witnessed the President’s recognition of the team’s outstanding performance in the recently concluded Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), where they emerged as runners-up.
“I commend the team, the coach, the crew, and the entire management team for their hard work, assiduity, and sacrifice to come this far in the tournament, acknowledging the hurdles they consistently surpassed with steadily improving performance as they pulled through to the finals,” President Tinubu stated.
All members of the team, adorned in green attire, were present at the ceremony, including Alex Iwobi, who had faced cyber attacks following Nigeria’s loss to Cote d’Ivoire in the AFCON final.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, President Tinubu urged Nigerians to find unity and strength in the team’s achievements.
“Let this passing event not dispirit us but bring us together to work harder. We are a great nation bound as one by the green-white-green banner of resilience, joy, hope, duty, and untiring love.”
Addressing the aspiring youth footballers across the nation, President Tinubu extended a message of encouragement, emphasizing the potential for future heroes to emerge from local communities.
“To those cherished Nigerian youths expressing their gifts in communities, drawing lines in the sand as they play football in their humble rectangles of play, you can be our heroes tomorrow, do not relent in your pursuit. My administration is here to make dreams come true,” President Tinubu assured.
The gesture by President Tinubu not only celebrates the team’s achievement in AFCON but also highlights the administration’s commitment to recognizing and supporting the aspirations of the nation’s youth in various fields.