Senate President Godswill Akpabio has applauded the Super Eagles for beating Angola to qualify for the semi-finals of the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire.
Recall that, on Friday night, Nigeria sailed through to the semi-finals after a 1-0 win over giant-killers, Angola at Stade Felix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan.
This was after a pass by Moses Simon, to Ademola Lookman who slotted the ball calmly beyond goalkeeper Guilherme da Costa to score the only goal for Nigeria in the 41st minute.
Mr Akpabio, who represented President Bola Tinubu at the crucial encounter, told journalists after the match that he was excited about the victory, adding that the Super Eagles had shown that they were unstoppable.
He said, “I feel very happy. Nigeria is a very large country with over 250 million people. It’s a great day for the country. We have now entered into the semi-finals. Angola couldn’t stop us. I think we are unstoppable. I paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the Parliament of Cote d’Ivoire and I promised him that if Cote d’Ivoire should qualify for the finals, Nigeria will defeat Cote d’Ivoire. Then, we will leave the trophy here for them to bring it to Nigeria for us.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong, who was also part of the government delegation to the match, said that with the much needed support and determination, the Super Eagles can go all the way and win the cup.
“I think for us it is a usual thing in Nigeria. When there is this very huge support and determination, Nigerians don’t let Nigeria down. Today we have seen it with the very powerful delegation led by the senate president and so we have to support them. With what we saw, we are going back to celebrate today,” he said.
Mr Lalong charged Nigerians to be hopeful in the administration of President Bola Tinubu, especially in the area of sports development.
He said that football was also an instrument of peace and unity.
“Football always brings peace. It’s only when you are playing football that you don’t know the difference between who is coming from the South, North West or North Central. So, today you can see that all of us are very happy that Nigeria won. Let this be the spirit in Nigeria, so that we will have one united country. I am sure there is joy now back home. Everybody is very happy; even the different political parties, this is where they meet together; football. So, this victory is for all Nigerians,” he said.
Nigeria will face Democratic Republic of Congo in the semi finals for a place in the final.
The tournament which began on January 13 in Cote d’Ivoire will end on February 11.