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Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Presidential reception: Super Eagles receive cash, national honours, plots of land
At the reception organised for the Super Eagleson Tuesday night in Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan rewarded the players and officials of the team with national honours, cash and plots of land.
Coach Stephen Keshi got N10million and his assistant coaches got N5million each, the same amount the 23 players that travelled to South Africa for the competition got.
At the ceremony which was held at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Jonathan also announced that all players and officials, will receive a plot of land in Abuja.
In addition, he conferred Keshi with the honour of Commander of the Order of Niger (CON), his assistants and skipper Joseph Yobo were conferred with Officer of the Order of Niger (OON), while the other players were conferred with Members of the Order of Niger (MON).
At the well attended event, cash donations from other Nigerians were announced. Globacom boss Mike Adenuga (Jnr) gave out $1million to the players and $200,000 to Keshi; Aliko Dangote donated N5m to each of the players; Emeka Ofor, Jim Ovia and Tony Elumelu also splashed out $500,000 each on the team.
In his address to the players and officials, Jonathan noted that the all-conquering display inSouth Africa, has “put a spring in our steps, golden smiles on our lips and has indicated thatNigeria is a land of opportunities.
“Not many people believe you could win. Inspite of the skepticism, there was no despair.
“Your victory is a good indication that there is victory for us as we work hard to transform Nigeria. We will continue to give sports its pride of place. The major lesson of your victory is that no matter the number of people who doubt you, never doubt yourself”.
He also reaffirmed his full support publicly to Keshi and charged him to ensure Nigeria qualifies for the World Cup in 2014.
In his speech, Bolaji Abdullahi, the Minister of Sports, stated that the glorious outing of the Eagles “is another moment of national rebirth. It is a breath of fresh air.
“As we celebrate, we are not unmindful of the responsibilities this bestow on us. We waited for nineteen years. We cannot wait for that long again.
“We have won it and I congratulate the president. Winning this trophy is not destination. The sporting arena is complex. We should put all the years of rancour and acrimony behind us and stop creating problems where non exist.
“The victory has shown that with determination and unity of purpose, we can achieve.”