October, 29 2022.
By Wale Ajayi.
They screamed, they danced and sang his praise to the heavens. According to them, they never knew that during their lifetime, they will ever watch a Nigerian team play a competitive football match before their naked eyes in the Pace Setter State.
That fear has finally been laid to rest as the Nigeria Under-23 national team, also known as the Olympic Eagles camped and played the first of many games to come in the Olympic Qualifiers at the Adamasingba stadium in Oyo State.
After the match, Ranti Bello, an indigene of Molete, in Ibadan, said she couldn't hold back the tears.
" I was among the early birds at the stadium today, I came here with my husband and two kids just to be part of history. I have watch the Nigeria National teams play but have never done so in my state. I have prayed for this day to come and it is finally here. That perhaps explains why i am in tears".
"Today is my happiest day as I sat with my husband and kids, cheering the Under-23 team to victory. I kept asking myself if this was a dream".
Biodun Balogun traveled all the way from Ogbomosho to be part of history. He is particularly impressed with the successes a son of the soil, Sunday Dare has achieved so far as Nigeria sports minister and he is proud to be associated with a man who many never gave a chance but has gone on to silence his critics.
"For me, it is all about Sunday Dare. I am happy because a yoruba man is doing us proud at the very top. Dare has shown in the last four years that Oyo state can produce exceptional leaders that can help fix this country. Since his appointment as Sports minister, we have followed his success story with keen interest and we have all come out today, to support the Nigeria team and our dear brother and leader, Sunday Dare"
Fatai Jamiu, traveled all the way from Shaki town, he is a trader who decided to close down his business for football.
"I am happy to be hear he said"."these memories will linger on in my head forever".
"Watching our national football team here in Ibadan has always been my dream and seeing us win in style got me crying. It was all tears of joy" he concluded.