President Muhammadu Buhari and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, have congratulated the Super Eagles on their victory on Saturday over the Chipolopolo of Zambia.
The match took place at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
In separate statements issued by their spokespersons, Buhari and Saraki praised the Eagles for their performance.
In the statement by Femi Adesina, the president is quoted as describing the hard-earned victory as “very sweet, soothing and a 57th Independence Anniversary gift to the nation.”
The statement reads further: “President Buhari called on all Nigerians to apply the values of perseverance, resilience, discipline, hard work and team-spirit which propelled the footballers to excel since the beginning of the qualifying matches, to all sectors of national life.
“The President promised that the Federal Government will continue to support the team within available resources so that the nation will maximise the unifying potentials of sports in general and football in particular.
“He enjoined the entire team and Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) officials to remain steadfast and focused when they begin preparations for the global football fiesta in order to make Nigeria proud.
“President Buhari urged public, private organisations and well-meaning Nigerians to continue to assist the Super Eagles as the team heads for a sixth appearance at the summit of football competition.
“The President also appreciated the government of Akwa Ibom State for the invaluable support it has been rendering to the football team, describing it as worthy of emulation.”
Yusuph Olaniyonu in his statement quoted Saraki as saying: “I want to congratulate our players for the way they played throughout the whole qualifying phase…
“From the way that they continue to play and improve, it is my hope, and the hope of millions across the country that our Super Eagles will represent our nation and the continent well at next year’s World Cup.”
The statement reads further: “The Senate President also stated that the Senate would work to ensure that our players are well equipped and well-prepared for the 2018 outing, while also urging the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and the Ministry of Sports to not take their feet off the pedal ahead of 2018.”
Saraki said as the players continued to make Nigeria proud and demonstrate the greatness in the people’s diversity, “I want to also congratulate all Nigerians. We can truly achieve great things when we work and stand together.”