The Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has charged the Nigeria U-17 side, Golden Eaglets to do the country proud in Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Junior Menas of Niger Republic in Niamey.
On the eve of the Eaglets’ departure from Sokoto to Niamey, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives at a very brief ceremony witnessed by members of the Sokoto State executive council, inside the Government House, advised the players to be good ambassadors in the neighbouring country. He said the government and people of Sokoto State were happy to host the world champions en route to Niamey for the second round, second leg match against their Nigerien counterparts, adding that the state government will sponsor a delegation of supporters to rally behind the team during the match.
“I want to believe the reason you camped here in the City of the Caliphate is not only because we share border with Niger Republic but also because this is a peaceful state; and it is a great privilege to have you with us,” stated the amiable Governor. “I congratulate all of you for being part of this contingent on your way to Niamey and I’m charging you to go there and win, and qualify (for the next round) by the grace of God.”
Speaking further, Governor Tambuwal said the Eaglets must approach the match against the Junior Menas like a Cup final, praying that the youngsters in years to come would become soccer celebrities: “I want you to take up this challenge and take this as a match that can make or mar your soccer careers, but with the kind of determination I see on your faces, victory is certain by the grace of Almighty Allah.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi eulogized Governor Tambuwal for his selfless service to Nigerian football even long before now. “I want to use this opportunity to thank our sport-loving Governor because not many knew that the Rt. Honourable Tambuwal had long been supporting Nigerian football even before he became the Governor of Sokoto State,” disclosed Dr. Sanusi. “While he was the Speaker of House of Representatives, he was always there to assist us; and we would forever be grateful to him.”
Dr. Sanusi, an indigene of Sokoto State, said the state used to be a Mecca of football and therefore enjoined His Excellency to bequeath the Caliphate and its environs with befitting sports facilities during his tenure, adding that sports, especially football has become a veritable avenue for physical and human development with other inherent economic benefits.