Calling on Super Eagles to wear black armbands in Sunday’s final match

It’s with every sense of responsibility as a patriotic and concerned citizen of our country that, I passionately urge the combat-ready Super Eagles of Nigeria to file out on Sunday, February 11, 2024 for the final clash in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament against hosts, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire donning black armbands.

This will be a subtle, yet strong and significant way of announcing to the world for more attention the unprecedented level of insecurity ravaging parts of the country for many years now, which had claimed and continue to claim countless precious lives.

It was heartwarming to learn from media reports that the Super Eagles observed a minute silence for the Nigerians who lost their lives as a result of shock during the last encounter with Bafana Bafana of South Africa. This buttresses your concern over the ugly fate of your fellow countrymen and women.

It’s on this note that I am calling on the team, as you have become the cynosure of all eyes across the globe, to demonstrate fervent concern for the countless victims of insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of violent crimes across the length and breadth of Nigeria. It’s also a modest, but powerful means of identifying with the plight of millions of Nigerians who have been displaced from their homes and have been turned to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in their own country without receiving adequate attention to facilitate their return to their respective homes. Wearing black armbands during the final clash against Cote d’Ivoire will sufficiently demonstrate that you are in sympathy with millions of Nigerians agonising from losing their beloved ones to pervasive insecurity and acts of violence, as well as those who are living under the constant threat of uncontrolled insecurity, murder, kidnapping for ransom, violent attacks and, who are not certain to live to see the next day as a consequence of the frightening scale of these acts of insecurity. 

By donning black armbands in the final match, you will clearly demonstrate the fact that you are sharing in the plight of hapless and helpless Nigerians, who are traumatized by pervasive and protracted acts of violence and escalating insecurity; that you feel the pains and agonies of the vast majority of suffering Nigerians under the present crushing and excruciating weight of the battered economy exacerbated by poor government policies, galloping inflation,  pervasive unemployment, unprecedented devaluation of the nation’s currency resulting in drastically depreciated living standards, hunger and starvation, disease and squalor. 

Who knows, this might be a way of attracting global attention to the predicaments of the suffering citizens of our country, who have resorted to migrate from the country in very large numbers in search of green pastures! Perhaps, it could reawaken our government to accord greater attention to the fight against insecurity which is yet to yield any significant impact to the relief of the people.

Meanwhile, I wish to use this opportunity to warmly congratulate the Super Eagles of Nigeria on your sterling performance so far in the ongoing AFCON 2023 Championship. You have indeed performed excellently against the expectations of most Nigerians. And this depicts the great potentials of this country which our leaders have unfortunately failed woefully in stimulating through strategic planning and nurturing to actualise and maximise these uncommon endowments. Thank God that you have through personal commitment, dedication, determination and perseverance utilised your skills to reach your present level in your avowal to bring joy, honour and glory to Nigerians. I enjoin you to go all out with absolute conviction and resilience to win the elusive and most prestigious football trophy on the African continent, even as the odds are overwhelming. At least, this will offer disillusioned and disenchanted Nigerians one reason to feel momentary consolation from the catastrophic failures of the government. Please, endeavour not to disappoint us on this very high expectation. Here’s wishing you the best of luck as you confront the host team, Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in an epic final.

Joachim OLUMBA

A Concerned Nigerian Citizen and Fan of the Super Eagles

UNI Agric Markurdi
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