In a message on his Facebook wall, President goodluck called the Eagles success at AFCON 2013 a “stunning victory.“
The message reads:
“ I am overjoyed at the stunning victory of the Super Eagles which has seen Nigeria emerge as the champions of the Africa Cup of Nations 2013.
“Well done patriots, you have done Nigeria proud. 2013 is obviously the year of Nigeria.
“We have emerged as the beacon of hope on the African continent by proving to Africa and the world that a strong Nigerian team put together and trained by a Nigerian coach can stand the test of time and successfully rise to the challenge of the most formidable opponent.
“The Nigerian spirit stands strong and steady as we march to the destination of greatness.
“I doff my Fedora hat to this great squad that has brought laughter and happiness to our homes.
‘‘Nigerians are great. We thank God, we thank you,’’ Jonathan said.
A statement by Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati, Dr. Jonathan said: “President Goodluck Jonathan congratulates the Super Eagles and all Nigerians on the country’s inspiring victory in the AFCON 2013 finals this evening in Johannesburg.
“President Jonathan thanks Coach Stephen Keshi and all members of the team who have worked very hard and played with great focus, dedication, artistry and patriotism to make Nigeria the proud champions of Africa once again after 19 years of setbacks in the competition.
“The President also commends the Minister of Sports, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi, the Chairman and members of the Nigerian Football Federation and all others who have contributed to the astonishing transformation of the Super Eagles from underdogs to gallant winners and glorious soccer champions of the African continent.
“President Jonathan believes that the team’s amazing transformation from rank outsiders to champions is a clear manifestation of the even greater successes the country can achieve in all other fields of human endeavour if all Nigerians come together and devote their immense collective energies and resources to supporting the implementation of his Administration’s Agenda for National Transformation.
“Therefore, as the entire nation celebrates Nigeria’s remarkable triumph in South Africa, President Jonathan urges all Nigerians to imbibe the positive lessons of the Super Eagles’ success because the fulfilment of the country’s immense potentials for greatness will be more speedily attained if more Nigerians resolve to emulate the team’s exemplary unity of purpose, dedication, commitment and devotion to service of the nation.
“The President also believes that having conquered Africa, the new Super Eagles can go on to achieve even greater glory at the World Cup in Brazil next year. He assures the team that it will receive every necessary support and encouragement from the Federal Government for that next national assignment.
President Jonathan thanks the Government of South Africa and the Confederation of African Football for a well-organised tournament and looks forward to receiving the victorious Super Eagles in Abuja on Tuesday.”
Similarly, Globacom boss Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr. last night gave the victorious Super Eagles $1million for winning the Cup of Nations.
Coach Stephen Keshi got $200,000 cash from the billionaire industrialist who said he will take over the payment of his salary from next month.
Adenuga announced the the monetery gift shortly after the team’s 1-0 victory over Burkina Faso’s Stallions.
It will be recalled that Africa’s richest man Alhaji Aliko Dangote had earlier given the team N130million, promising to do more after they might have won the cup.
The Eagles have also raked in $75,000 in total from NFF since the begining of the tournament to the winning point.
The government’s package for the team will be announced when President Jonathan hosts them at the Presidential Villa on Tueday.