By AMaechi Agbo
Prominent Nigerian leaders have expressed their views over Super Eagles elimination from the Russia 2018 World Cup in the hands of perennial rivals, Argentina.
Nigeria lost 2-1 to the two-time World Cup champions thereby denying the Super Eagles the opportunity to reach the Round 16 on four occasions of its 6 appearances at the global showpiece.
Leading the reaction was Nigeria’s Vice President who Yemi Osibanjo said Nigeria is proud of the team irrespective of the outcome of the match.
“In Ibadan, someone asked me my thoughts on the Nigeria vs Argentina game. My response was simple. By God’s grace, victory will be ours but no matter the outcome, we are proud of these young men and what they represent to us as a nation,” the Vice President twitted.
On his part, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, encouraged the players to accept the defeat in sportsmanship adding that they inspired Nigerians with their performance.
“A great performance by our Super Eagles; we fought a good fight. However, you win some, you lose some. Raise your heads up; you inspired all 180 million of us. Thank you. Super Eagles,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
A Pillar of Sports in Africa and former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzo Kalu said although the loss to Argentina was regrettable as it ensured Nigeria’s elimination from the competition, noted the referee’s failure to award the team a penalty and missed scoring chances contributed to the group stage ouster.
“Sad we lost the game and finally out of the competition and some of questionable decisions of the Referee. However, the Eagles played their best despite the scoring chances we lost. Hopefully with this experience we shall get better with this young squad if well maintained,” Uzo Kalu who supported Enyimba FC as governor when they won the CAF Champions League back-back, said.
A fomer Vice President and 2019 PDP Presidential election aspirant, Atiku Abubakar thanked the team for a good job and asked them to hold their heads high. “We gave our all. The boys can hold their heads high. Thank you,” he twitted.
On his part, Ogun State governor, Rauf Aregbesola described the Super Eagles performance as “excellent” saying “You win some, you lose some; excellent effort from the Super Eagles.”
A former aide to ex President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri however was not bothered with the elimination saying the team can always qualify to World Cup but the lost lives in Plateau state cannot be recovered.
“I am actually not so perturbed that we lost to Argentina. We lost 150 lives in Plateau 3 days ago. We can always qualify for another World Cup, but these souls are gone. At least we scored one goal against Argentina, but they can’t achieve any of their goals for life!” he stated.
Nigeria’s first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme said although the result was disappointing, nonetheless commended the team for putting up great performance.
“We are all naturally disappointed, but I’m so proud of the team. The heart and effort shown was immense, in time our young team will learn from this and be stronger. But I’m proud,” the Wolverhampton Wanderers goal tender twitted.