By Halimah Olamide
Against the much-publicised plans by President Bola Tinubu to personally be in Abidjan to watch the final of the ongoing African Cup of Nations, the presidency on Saturday said the vice president Kasim Shetimma will lead the Nigerian delegation.
A statement by Stanley Nkwocha, Senior Special Assistant on Media in the office of the Vice President said the President has directed Vice President Kashim Shettima to lead a presidential team to the finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire.
The statement came against the background of earlier hint by the President of the Confederation of African Football Federations, saying that Tinubu had given indications of plans to be in Abidjan personally to watch the match.
The Vice President had also represented the President at the semi-finals when the Super Eagles defeated South Africa in a pulsating encounter.
The Nigerian national team is set to face host, Côte d’Ivoire, in a thrilling rematch at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday, February 11.
The statement said, “The match will rekindle the memories of Nigeria’s 1-0 victory in the group stage secured through Captain William Troost-Ekong’s penalty.”
The statement further stated that Tinubu believes that Vice President Shettima’s presence at the finals alongside the delegation is a testament to the government’s unwavering support for the team and its dedication to their success.
It quoted the president as “recognizing the unifying power of football and the immense role the Super Eagles play in fostering national pride and unity.”
“The federal government calls on all Nigerians, both at home and abroad, to unite in support of the Super Eagles, and to raise their voices in encouragement, and create a wave of national pride that propels the team to glory,” Nkwocha’s statement added