Members of the Super Eagles squad of 1994, on Thursday in Abuja, paid courtesy visits to two members of the Federal Executive Council – The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola and the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare
in appreciation of the Federal Government’s fulfillment of promises made to them for winning the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
In 1994, the Super Eagles made their maiden appearance at the FIFA senior World Cup finals in the United States of America after emerging African Champions a few months earlier in Tunisia.
In appreciation of their triumph at the Africa Cup of Nations(AFCON), the Sani Abacha led Federal Government of the day promised house rewards for the players and officials of the team, a promise that had remained largely unfulfilled until now.
Represented by the stand-in captain of the team Augustine Eguavoen, Alloy Agu, Victor Ikpeba, Benedict Iroha, physical trainer Edema Steven and Daniel Amokachi, the Special Adviser on Sports to President Buhari, the former players expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for making good the twenty seven year promise.
“Looking back at the promise made in 1994, which is twenty-seven years ago and our reality today we cannot thank President Muhammadu Buhari enough,” Eguavoen opened up during the visit, “we are also grateful to the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola and our boss, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
“We remember those of our colleagues who are no longer with us like our official captain, Stephen Keshi, Rashidi Yekini, Wilfred Agbonibavre, Uche Okafor and Thompson Oliha and are happy that their children can now benefit from the fathers’ labour.
“This will also send a message to those currently playing that Nigeria will not forget your labours, even if it is late, it will never be denied.”
In his own remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Sunday Dare said he will continue to push the welfare of sports men and women to the front burner, promising to ensure that the policy he put in place to take care of active and retired athletes receives good attention.
He added that his Ministry will make sure a model for a continuous reward system that outlives him as Sports Minister and endures the test of time is put in place.
For the Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola, the reward although twenty-seven years behind schedule is confirmation of the will of the present administration never to forget past heroic and patriotic acts.
“Government may be a slow burner and the wheels may turn slowly but it will turn. President Buhari takes the credit for this. He is assuring us all that every patriotic work will be rewarded and all promises made kept. This is not just in the area of sports but across all segments of our national life.” Fashola concluded.