Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke
Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, on Saturday night hosted the Super Eagles to a lavish victory party inside the Government House in Calabar, that was attended by the Liberian Ambassador to Nigeria, with the Nigeria Football Federation President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, declaring that the federation has mapped out an ambitious plan for the Eagles to capture the Nations Cup next year in South Africa.
He immediately got support from Governor Imoke, who said he was sure that the Super Eagles will win the next Nations Cup championship in South Africa and the trophy will be presented to him in Calabar, from where the team will journey to present the trophy to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.
Maigari, who was at the occasion but chose to speak through his Vice, Chief Mike Okeke Umeh, confessed that there was tension in the air leading to the game against Liberia, declaring that jobs would have been lost had the Eagles failed to pick the ticket for the Nations Cup championship.
“But here we are, very happy and going to the championship with the support of the Governor of Cross River State. Our promise is that we will not only do well but we will make the governor and the people of Cross River state proud.”
Responding, Governor Imoke, declared that he will deploy the little resources at the disposal of the state government to support the NFF in winning the Nations Cup championship, after the team showed through its comprehensive 6-1 win that it was hungry for a title in the coming months.
“We are determined to ensure that we get the best from the team and we have a determination to ensure that Calabar, where football was first played will sooner than later play host to the celebration of the trophy.”
Sports Commissioner, Hon Patrick Ugbe, had earlier thanked the NFF and stakeholders for returning football to its original roots, boasting that the Eagles and any national team for that matter will never draw a game in Calabar now or in the future.
“It’s going to be victory all the time,” he said.
Earlier, the tradition ruler of the Qua people in Calabar Municipality, Dr Thomas Ika Ika Qua, said the leadership of Nigeria football headed by Maigari is charting a revolution in Nigerian football that must be supported by all well meaning Nigerians.
He spoke during a visit to his palatial home by the NFF Leadership led by Technical Committee Chairman, Christopher Green, with Head Technical, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, who has been working very hard to ensure smooth running of events in Calabar among those in the team. Others were Lt Col. Rabiu Yandoto, the Eagles Camp Commandant and Media Officer, Ben Alaiya.
“The greatness of the Nigerian national team is gradually returning and that is because the present leader ship has great respect for traditional institutions which was not the case in the past. Mark my words, this team will bring great honour to this country sooner than later,” he predicted.