A Blissful Sallah Day In Nigeria
Nigeria News look at how football and Super Eagles victory over Cameroon sealed Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
The echo of goals reverberated at every corner across the country. Football lovers jumped out of the stadium to celebrate the victory of the Nigeria Super Eagles over the toothless Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
It was Nigeria 4, Cameroon 0 at the Godwin Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in a Russian 2018 World Cup qualifier. Nigeria just won the first leg of the double header and will be playing the second leg in Yaoundé on Monday.
From Uyo to Lagos; from east to the north; from south to the west, Nigerians in the euphoria of football victory mixed with the Muslim faithful who were marking the Eid-el-kabir.
One could not differentiate between Muslims and Christians; the Super Eagles’ victory had quickly united them as they cramped to drink and eat together from the same bottle and bowl.
Football has been a unified factor in Nigeria, the only game that easily kills religious and ethnic bigotry.
On Friday Nigerians never queried the selection of the Super Eagles. They did not ask questions of the ethnic group that scored the four goals. They never asked why the match was played on Salah Day, which happened to be Friday.
And on the Friday, the Boko Haram insurgents refused to strike as they did in the previous Salah, perhaps they were busy watching Nigeria trouncing Cameroon.
Residents of the northeast Nigeria celebrated Eid-el-kabir with funfair. There was no report of kidnapping or ritual killing. It was blissful atmosphere of joy, love and unity.
Thanks to soccer, a single round leather that suddenly brought succour to millions of Nigeria who have been agitating for secession.
The event of yesterday showed that there is no problem with Nigerians but their leaders who will always sow seeds of discords using ethnicity and religion among the governed to become more relevant in government.
Ekitit State Governor, Ayodele Fayose was prominent among the Muslims on Friday with his sheik regalia at the Eid praying ground. He said on Wednesday that it was too late for Nigeria to break up as he advised the Biafra agitators and the Federal Government to embrace dialogue instead of war.
President Muhamadu Buhari on Tuesday received the victorious African women basketball champions, D’ Tigress and used the occasion to call for peace and unity among all ethnic groups.
That was the sprit sports had brought into Nigeria unity, which according to the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel must be sustained to keep the county as one great nation.
At the pre-match press conference, Emmanuel had tasked the Super Eagles to beat the Indomitable Lions with a dangling $10, 000 cash award per every goal scored.
He paid the players the sum of $30, 000 for their three goal victory over Algeria and made a new promise. Now, Emmanuel must cough out $40, 000 for a well-deserved win by the Super Eagles in Uyo on Friday.
As the team prepares to travel to Yaoundé for the return leg, it will need Emmanuel’s cash award as motivation for another win.