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AFCON Has Re-awakened Spirit of Nationalism, Unity Amongst Nigerians, Testament to Power of Sports

February, 9 2024.

Says this is the best time for corporate organizations to invest in sports


The Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh has stated that the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is a further testament of the power of sports to unite the country and promote harmony amongst Nigerians.


Thus, he has called on individuals, corporate organizations, and the private sector to invest more in sports.


The Minister made the statement while addressing journalists on Thursday, in the aftermath of Nigeria's win over South Africa to secure progression into the final of the AFCON. Enoh said that the success of the Super Eagles has eliminated the appearances of division, as Nigerians at home and abroad have embraced each other as a united force to support the country and celebrate their victories.


"I believe that the togetherness and unity that is greeting the success of the Nigerian team at the AFCON is a clarion call to all Nigerians, corporate organizations and the private sector to again see that sports is one activity that brings happiness and joy to all Nigerians, and therefore it makes a very good case for continuous investment in it," The Minister said. "The AFCON is reawakening a renewed sense of identity and pride for our nation."


He reiterated that sponsorship and investment in sports is not to be left to the Government alone, as all Nigerians have a stake in it, and it provides a fertile platform to reach out to the generality of Nigerians.


"We are not even done yet with the AFCON. A few days ago, we got the Progressive Governors' Forum to give huge support to the team, and from now until the next few days, we will be reaching out to Nigerians to motivate these players. Letters, personal calls and appeals will be sent out. I am calling on everyone to be a part of what the Ministry is doing."


The Minister also stated that His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been incredibly tremendous in his support for sports.


"Mr President is everything our sports needs, and what our country needs. From the approval of funds, clearing of previously-owed salaries and bonuses, and other policy support, Mr. President has given incredible support to sports. To crown it up, he has stated that he will be in Abidjan for the final. The Senate President was in the quarterfinal match, and the vice president attended the semifinal. This Government has shown support and commitment to what is bringing happiness to Nigerians in this difficult period."


Nigeria will take on host, Cote d'Ivoire in the final of the AFCON, on Sunday night, as the Super Eagles hunt for their fourth AFCON trophy. Nigeria won the tournament in 1980, 1994, and 2013. Ten years after its last win, the nation is on the verge of doing it again.

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