BAN Greets Pres Buhari for Complementing GYB’s Effort in Honouring National Football Heroes
By Onoja Johnson
A group with a membership of millions of young Nigerians have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the fulfilling of the federal government pledge to the 1994 Eagles squad that conquered Africa, saying that it adds to the efforts of the governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, in giving the team recognition in recent time and celebrating the footballers.
The Bello Ambassadors Network, BAN, whose membership cut across the 774 local governments in Nigeria noted that the approval of the allocation of 3-bedroom houses to the Super Eagles squad that won the African Cup of Nations in Tunis, Tunisia, in 1994, after 26 years, is due to the recent honor given to the team by governor Bello which awaken the spirit of not letting the labors of the national heroes be in vain.
Bello has in recent times been in the news for feting with several Nigerian soccer stars beginning from the 94 squads after a testimonial match held in honor of the governor in Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State – a memorial reunion of the team.
BAN has disclosed that governor Bello is making efforts to make sure the youths and footballers are encouraged and given the necessary honor and recognition for contribution to our national heritage.
The governor has hosted the likes of Mikel Obi, Kelechi Iheanacho, Odion Ighalo, Ahmed Musa, the 1994 squad, and others, who have commended him for his youth inclusiveness in Governance and ensuring a united Nigeria.
In a statement from the presidency on Thursday, after a memo by Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, the president approved the allocations of houses to the remaining members of the team who were yet to be rewarded in their states of preference.
The statement noted that six players and three technical crews have received their houses already.
The players are Peter Rufai, Alloy Agu, Ike Shorounmu, Uche Okechukwu, Samson Siasia, Efan Ekoku, Sunday Oliseh, Benedict Iroha, Isaac Semitoje, Mutiu Adepoju, Emmanuel Amunike, Victor Ikpeba, Austin Eguavoen, and Wilfred Agbonavbare (Deceased).
Others include Uche Okafor (Deceased), Thompson Oliha (Deceased), Stephen Keshi (Deceased), Christian Chukwu, Dr. Akin Amao, Stephen Edema, Col. A Asielue, and B. Aromasodun.
The promise to the players made by Gen Sani Abacha had remained unfulfilled halfway even as they have approached the government severally especially during the time of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The National Coordinator of BAN, Hon. Anthony Edogbo, reacting to the decision of Mr. President, told reporters in Abuja on Friday that the governor of Kogi state has already reawakened the spirit of honoring the youths and giving them the sense of belonging they need to carry on in their careers. He said the governor is also been emulated by the Lagos State governor Sanwo Olu by also honoring the labor of Nigerian footballers
Edogbo added that he hopes other Nigerian leaders will follow suit in adding up to what foundation already set by governor Bello so that the flag of the Nigeria National team can keep flying high.
He said the body appreciates Mr. President for the following suit with the governor of Kogi State in making sure no one makes the country proud and goes unrecognized.
Governor Bello has also hosted several young Nigerians in the entertainment industry and show biz.