Keshi’s Burial Rites Begin Today

The final journey home for late Super Eagles chief coach and renowned football tactician, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, will begin today, with series of activities lined up to herald his interment in Illah, Oshimili North local government area of Delta State, tomorrow.

When journalists visited his Ukpologwu Quarters home in Illah on Tuesday, the compound wore a new look, after renovation works were completed in readiness for his burial.

Work on the tomb, where his remains would be laid, had been completed as at the time of the visit.

Also, all was set at the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Illah, preparatory to the service of songs/vigil mass today, as well as the requiem mass tomorrow and the thanksgiving mass on Sunday. As a titled chief in Illah, his body would stop briefly at the palace of the traditional ruler of the town tomorrow for traditional rites.

At the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, finishing touches were being put in place to receive the numerous persons coming to pay their last respects to the fallen hero, during the lying-in-state ceremony today. Keshi died on June 7, 2016 in Benin City, Edo, age of 54.

Credit: Leadership

NFF Bans Super Eagles from Social Media Use in Camps After Oliseh/Enyeama Drama

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has hinted that Super Eagles players will be restricted on their use of social media while on international duty following the face off between Sunday Oliseh and Vincent Enyeama last Tuesday.

NFF supremo Amaju Pinnick made this known after a meeting in Belgium on Saturday with the main protagonists involved in the dispute.

Lille numero uno Vincent Enyeama made headlines last week after he took to Instagram to express his disappointment on how he was mistreated by Sunday Oliseh.

“No player launches his career through the social media. When players are at their clubs, they don’t broadcast camp situation on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, ” Pinnick said. The same restraint and discipline must be observed in the national camp.”

Enyeama won’t be the first Super Eagles player to take to a social networking site to voice his displeasure at team officials, with ex-West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie launching an attack on the NFF via Twitter after his omission from the 2013 African Cup of Nations roster.

NSC Threatens To Stop Oliseh’s Unveiling As New Coach On Wednesday

The Federal government through the National Sports Commission (NSC) yesterday threatened to stop the plan by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to unveil Nigerian former international, Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh, as the new Super Eagles head coach on Wednesday, insisting that the appointment did not conform with the Procurement Act procedure for engagement.

This is coming on the heels of the NSC query to the NFF over the sack of former Super Eagles Chief Coach, Stephen Keshi. The Guardian gathered from the NSC yesterday in Abuja that the commission had written to the NFF, insisting that the position of the head coach for the Super Eagles is still vacant, stressing that it has not received any official correspondent from the federation on the appointment and unveiling of any coach to replace Stephen Keshi, who was sacked last week for
applying for the vacant coaching job in Cote d’Ivoire while still on the employment of the NFF.

According to an NSC management egghead: “The procedure for hiring Sunday Oliseh did not pass through the Procurement Act. It was the same when the NSC employed the High Performance Directors. The Sports Commission requested for waiver for selective bidding, which enabled us to select people based on their credentials.

“We selected people and interviewed them in the United Kingdom. The Deputy Director in charge of Procurement attended because it is a procurement exercise, which must go in accordance with the Procurement Act.

“The engagement of Oliseh is a contractual one but it is unfortunate that the federation may not have been guided accordingly. If the federation goes ahead to unveil Oliseh on Wednesday without following the due process, they would be violating the Procurement Act, they would be found liable.

“The truth is that even if they have secured the consent of a private company to pick Oliseh’s bills, the law of the land on engagement must be observed. The procedure is for the NFF to write to the Sports Commission informing them of their plans to engage a technical expertise like the Eagles chief coach and his assistants, specifying the terms of relationship.

If they don’t want to advertisement, they can do selective bidding.” The NSC official further noted, “If they must interview and hire Oliseh alone, they must apply for waiver of certificate of no objection giving reason for the decision to settle for him alone.

Unveiling him on Wednesday is tantamount to violation of the due process of the procurement in accordance with Procurement Act.

“Writing to NSC is just a point of information and point of information is not a legal process. NSC has no business with their day-to-day operation but if the operation violates the law, we will draw their attention to it and take any managerial and administrative measure that must be taken.

“As I speak to you, NSC does not know whether there is any unveiling this week because we are an institution guided by official communication and far as we are concerned, nobody from the federation has communicated to us officially if there will be any unveiling.”

Yakmut said the only official information the NSC has received from the NFF was the answer to its query on the sack of Keshi, adding, “They have already sent two pages of explanation on why he was removed.

They told us how his removal would add value to the game. The Sports Commission has accepted the reasons for Keshi’s sack because we don’t know the content of the contract that brought him in the first place and the one that kicked him out.”

Replacing Keshi? NFF In Talks With Sunday Oliseh

Sunday Oliseh is in advanced talks with the Nigerian Football Federation over becoming the new Super Eagles coach. The 40-year-old former midfielder, who captained Nigeria and won 63 caps, is set to be appointed in the coming days.

The NFF have acted quickly to fill the vacancy following the sacking of Stephen Keshi on Saturday.

Oliseh was part of the Nigeria squad that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and Olympic gold two years later.

He also played at the World Cup in 1994 and 1998, helping the Super Eagles to the last-16 at both tournaments and in the latter he scored a memorable winner as Nigeria shocked Spain 3-2 in a group match.

A member of the “golden generation” of Nigerian football stars, alongside Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu and Finidi George, Oliseh has been working as a pundit, sport consultant and Fifa Technical committee member.

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Stephen Keshi Begs Nigerians To Leave Him Alone

Sacked Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi has come out to beg Nigerians to leave him alone after he was sacked over the weekend. Shortly after Keshi’s sack a lot of Nigerians have been condemning the former coach saying he deserves it while some said he was sacked based on the politics playing out at NFF. Whichever way you think, Keshi just wants all football fans to leave him alone and let him have a peaceful time with his family in America. Here’s how he begged for peace;

“Please, I want Nigerians to leave me alone and allow me spend time with my family. The only thing on my mind now is to be with my family and I don’t want to be bothered with any matter associated with the Super Eagles.


“‘I want people to understand that I do not have anything on the Super Eagles. The only thing I want to do is be with my loved ones. Direct all your questions to Yusuf or whoever is coaching the team.”

NFF Queries Keshi, Enyeama

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has fired queries to both coach Stephen Keshi and captain Vincent Enyeama over issues surrounding Super Eagles AFCON qualifier against Chad. Keshi has been asked by his employers to explain why non-league striker Gabriel Okechukwu made the Eagles team, while Enyeama has to explain his comments regarding the safety of match venue Kaduna.

Striker Okechukwu features for non-league Water FC of Abuja and he failed to make the final cut for the U20 World Cup in New Zealand after he was named on a 35-man provisional squad.

The unknown striker was so honoured by Keshi that he was even handed the revered jersey No.10 once made famous by football icons in the likes of Austin “Jay Jay” Okocha, Argentine legends Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho of Brazil, Italy legend, Roberto Baggio, the great Zinedine Zidane of France, Glenn Hoddle of England, among others.

Enyeama, on the other hand, has been queried over his comments that Kaduna was unsafe for the AFCON qualifier against Chad. The NFF were forced to issue an official statement after Enyeama’s comments on the Kaduna venue. NFF president Amaju Pinnick was quoted in the statement as saying:

Read More: vanguardngr

I Don’t Have A Team, Says Keshi

Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has made a most shocking admission that he does not have a team as he begins his second stint in charge of Nigeria. Keshi, who led Nigeria to AFCON glory in 2013 after a 19-year wait, recently penned a fresh two-year contract to continue as the country’s coach.

However, the former Mali and Togo handler noted, “The team that helped us win the AFCON in 2013 is no longer in place. “We don’t presently have a team. We would have to start from scratch to build a formidable team that Nigerians would be proud of.

“My plan is to start with the local-based players, like I did the last time and then look for fit and in-form players from outside the shores of the country.

“It’s sad that most of our players are not getting regular action in their clubs but we pray that this improves.”

Keshi further added, “You know most times when we meet we would have about three days together so mostly it would be tactical work we would be doing.” Nigeria begin the campaign to qualify for the 2017 AFCON in June against Chad at home.


Keshi Finally Returns As Super Eagles’ Coach

Stephen Keshi has been re-engaged as the coach the Super Eagles after nine months the initial deal expired. Keshi’s initial contract ran out at the end of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in July, after Nigeria crashed out in the Round of 16, losing to France.

A new administration of the Nigeria Football Federation was voted in in September with the promise that Keshi’s contract will be renewed without delay. But it too the Amaju Pinnick led NFF till April 21, 2015 to meet the promise, after almost sealing a replacement for Keshi.

Keshi in presence of top NFF executives and the media on Tuesday signed the contract to head the Super Eagles for a two year period. “We lost in the past, we drew and we won. But we have to move forward now. This is a new page in Nigerian football and what happened in the past has happened. I have what it takes to take d country forward,” Keshi said after signing his new two year contract.

“We need the media. I cannot do this alone. I will work with office of the NFF to move our football forward.”

NFF vice President Seyi Akinwunmi explained the reason behind the delay. “The delay in Keshi’s return was occasioned by the elongated and unwarranted crises we had last year. The NFF have agreed to continually sponsor Keshi on refresher courses.”

With the latest development, Keshi will now swing into action as the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup begins in June.

Read More: news24

Keshi Offered New Two-Year Contract as Nigeria Coach

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has offered Stephen Keshi a new two-year contract as national team coach. Keshi is set to return to the Eagles after a period of uncertainty – and losing out in the race for the job of Ghana, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Angola and Burkina Faso. He and the NFF have been back and forth in contract negotiations.

Keshi has coached Nigeria since 2011. He won the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and led the team into the World Cup knock-out stages last year in Brazil, but failed to qualify the Super Eagles for the last continental tournament earlier this year, then on a match-by-match contract.

NFF president Pinnick Amaju confirmed Keshi’s imminent return as Eagles coach, saying however he was yet to sign the contract. “Keshi’s contract has been approved by the NFF board, I can confirm that to Nigerians. All that is left now is for him (Keshi) to sign it. As we speak, Keshi has not put pen to paper,” Amaju said.

Details of the new contract are yet to be made public, but dpa learnt the new deal is slightly higher than the previous one and worth about 34,000 dollars a month to encouage the coach to remain and give the job his best shot. Keshi confirmed to he was yet to sign, complaining about some clauses contained in the new deal.

Credit: SAPA

Stop Insulting the Country in Public, NFF Responds to Keshi’s “Slave Contract” Allegation

Technical Committee Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Felix Anyansi-Agwu has criticised Stephen Keshi for saying a new deal offered him by the football authority amounted to a “slave contract”. Keshi reportedly made the remarks after receiving his new contract following an eight month wait.

A debate had raged in Nigeria over whether Keshi should be given a new deal, despite new offer to the NFF and stop embarrassing the country or his potential employers in the media.

“Contracts are not signed on the pages of newspapers and his objections or concerns should be addressed to the federation and not to outsiders.“The act of taking contractual matters to the media doesn’t show maturity and discipline from [Stephen] Keshi,” Anyansi-Agwu told BBC Sport.

“Why insult your potential employers in the media if you plan to work with them. He should stop embarrassing and insulting the country in public, it’s the reason he has a lawyer who could speak to us.”

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Go If You’re Not Happy With Our Contract, NFF Tells Keshi

Technical Committee Chairman of the Nigeria Football Federation, Felix Anyansi-Agwu has criticised Stephen Keshi for saying a new deal offered him by the football authority amounted to a “slave contract”.

The 52 year old Keshi reportedly made the remarks after receiving his new contract following an eight month wait.

A debate had raged in Nigeria over whether Keshi should be given a new deal, despite new offer to the NFF and stop embarrassing the country or his potential employers in the media.


“The act of taking contractual matters to the media doesn’t show maturity and discipline from [Stephen] Keshi,” Anyansi-Agwu told BBC Sport.

“Contracts are not signed on the pages of newspapers and his objections or concerns should be addressed to the federation and not to outsiders.

“Why insult your potential employers in the media if you plan to work with them. He should stop embarrassing and insulting the country in public, it’s the reason he has a lawyer who could speak to us.”

Keshi took over in November 2011 and his initial contract with the NFF ran out after last year’s World Cup in Brazil, where Nigeria reached the second round stage.

As caretaker coach he endured a turbulent 2014, in which he was sacked by the NFF and only reinstalled after intervention from Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan.

BBC Sport understands that Keshi has now been offered a two-year contract effective from 1 March 2015 with him having to meet several targets. He is also required to sign a code of conduct, or else the deal is off.

His latest outburst has led to Anyansi-Agwu urging him to ‘walk away’ if he is not happy to share his concerns directly with the NFF.

“The whole thing should not have been blown out of proportion. It’s the NFF employing Keshi and not the other way round, so if he’s not happy he can simply ‘walk away’.

“The role is not his birth right, so he should stop acting like it’s him or no one else.

“He’s not going about it the right way. Keshi can’t employ those employing him, so if he’s not happy he should come back to us and we can look into it.

“Keshi has worked in other countries and he didn’t engage Togo and Mali in a media war, so if he has advisers then they should tell him the matured path to follow, “Anywansi-Agwu added.

Keshi Loses Out on Equatorial Guinea job

Speculations linking out-of-contract Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi with the vacant position of head coach of the  Equatorial Guinea national team have been put to rest with plans by that country’s football association to appoint Esteban Becker to replace Andoni Goikoetxea.

Equatorial Guinea have opted not to renew coach Goikoetxea’s contract, which expired on 31 December.
The country’s football association (FEGUIFUT) claims Goikoetxea breached his contract by not travelling to Portugal with the team on 16 December.

As a result Goikoetxea was sacked, a decision sanctioned by new FEGUIFUT president Andres Jorge Mbomio. Following the sack of the former handler, the 2013 Afcon-winning Keshi was widely speculated as his possible replacement. With the latest development from that country, Keshi whose place in Nigeria is still shrouded in uncertainty remains in limbo.

Equatorial Guinea have just over two weeks with the team before they kick off the Nations Cup against Congo on 17 January.

Argentine Becker, 50, was previously in charge of Equatorial Guinea’s women’s team, who he led to the 2012 Nations Cup title.

As well as facing Congo, Becker would lead his new team out against Burkina Faso and Gabon in Group A.
Equatorial Guinea stepped in as last-minute replacements for original hosts Morocco, who failed in their plea to the Confederation of African Football to postpone the tournament because of fears over the potential spread of the deadly Ebola virus.

As a result Equatorial Guinea were handed Morocco’s place at the finals, despite having been eliminated during qualifying after they were penalized for fielding an ineligible player.


Confusion Trails N14 Million Payment to Keshi By NSC

THE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Tuesday denied it has agreed a new contract with Super Eagles’ Coach, Stephen Keshi, who was reported to have received two months’ salary worth N14 million from the National Sports Commission (NSC).

Sources at the NSC disclosed that Keshi, who was on a monthly N5 million salary before the expiration of his contract in July, has been given a new deal valued at N7 million a month.

Tuesday, a source at the NFF, who pleaded anonymity, said it was preposterous to imagine that the Sports Minister, Tammy Danagogo, would enter into a fresh deal with Keshi without the knowledge of the Federation, who in the first place employed the coach.

According to the source, “we have agreed to extend Keshi’s contract and we are looking at several issues before finalizing the deal. So, I don’t know where the story that he has a new improved contract is coming from.

“In any case, the Sports Minister is a gentleman, who knows the right path to things like this, so, I don’t believe he has given Keshi a new contract to work for the NFF. The said N14 million could be payment for other services to the country and not as reward for the job he would do for us.

 “To arrive at a new contract both parties must sit down to sort out some issues. You cannot tell me that the NFF will not be party to any discussion or agreement on the national team coach’s salary.”

A local website Tuesday reported that the sports minister has paid Keshi’s salary for the past two months.

It said that Keshi was paid N14 million (about $83,000) for October and November by Danagogo even though there is no contractual agreement between the coach and the NF

Keshi Is Responsible For AFCON Failure – Sunday Oliseh

Former Super Eagles captain, Sunday Oliseh, has said Stephen Keshi should shoulder the blame for Nigeria’s failure to qualify for next year’s African Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guinea.

Oliseh, writing in his blog, faulted Keshi’s constant line-up changes and failure to settle on his best 11 players, a situation he claimed made them not to play as a team.

”The uncoordinated way in which Super Eagles play, which triggered our recent elimination, is borne out of the fact that there were too much line-up changes.

“When you lack ‘raw’ quality in your team, you advocate and build success via team work, team play and a regular team to compensate for what you lack in individual quality,” quoted Oliseh as saying in the blog.

He also lashed out at Keshi’s poor handling of his critics, saying not all those who criticise the out of contract Super Eagles coach are interested in his job.

“It is a crime to air your opinion, give advice or suggestions on how to better the Super Eagles without the handlers throwing insults at you or crying out that you seek their job,” he added.

“They probably do this because they got the job by back stabbing; hence they fail to understand that not everyone needs or wants to coach the Super Eagles.”

The outspoken Ex Juventus man, who is a licensed UEFA grade A coach, continued by saying Keshi and his technical crew lack the proper qualification requirements to lead a team like the Super Eagles, and that also means they were unable to achieve success in the long haul even though they won the AFCON in 2013.

“Most of us played football as kids, we all have an opinion or idea about football. This, however, leads some to think they are experts. This is not only wrong, but dangerous,” he continued.

“Should you want to be a top coach, you have to study and get yourself certified and even then you are not guaranteed success.

Source –

Now That Keshi Is Gone? By Paschal Chikero

Fellow Nigerians I am writing this with a heart full of pain and disappointments. I knew that Stephen Keshi’s enemies are still in the glass house but what beat my imagination is I never knew that his enemies are the dumb ones. Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has finally gotten rid of the first black coach to win a Nations Cup for Nigeria, the first Nigerian Ex-International who became a coach and led Nigeria to the senior world cup. The first exportable coach from Nigeria. A coach that created stars from local clubs when they said home-based players are training materials. We can talk about the Mbas, Obuabunas, Reuben Gabriels today because a Stephen Keshi was here. The most painful part is that it was done in a very disrespectful manner. A coach with such a delicious profile should not be made to look like a scum. From hero to villain. From the celebrated to the rejected one. I think they should have given him a little time to win back the lost love then give him a befitting exit. What kind of human being does this? This man won his game with Sudan for Christ’s sake.

For some time now Nigerians have like they always did been calling for a change of coach but what they got is a disaster! How can one replace Stephen Keshi with the bitter-kola chewing Amodu Shaibu? Yes you may say he has always done the dirty jobs but this is not progressive because he is always replaced with a foreign coach after qualifying the team for any competition… this is a bad sign in my books. It looks like in the glass house Amudu is seen as the mercenary who comes to do the dirty jobs and finally gets treated like a sinner. At this point, I just blame Stephen Keshi for not following his heart in South Africa when he was singing the resignation song. Listening to Nigerians and Dr. Mike Adenuga was the worst mistake of his life. Keshi would have bowed out when the ovation was loudest but we deceived him, dragged our hero into the mud and stoned him.

Now that Stephen Keshi is gone, one would think that the NFF or who ever that is controlling the masquerade would be making moves in the right direction but with the handwriting on the wall, we are heading back to where the rain was beating us mercilessly!

I know that Amodu has been made an interim coach so that the vampires will take their time to find a foreign coach they will use to siphon money…. This they have missed since the arrival of Keshi. They will bring a foreign coach that knows nothing and cares less about our football. He will come and bamboozle us with media hypes, give us lofty hope and dump us! This MOFOS in the glass house won’t see the likes of Sunday Oliseh or even Samson Siasia( now the under 23 team coach) to contract, they will bring a white man they can use as a conduit to suck out funds… criminals in the glass house.

Where are we really going? Definitely it is not forward.

My question is, is this move Amuju Pinnic’s “acceptance speech” or is he being remoted by the wolves because this sack resembles what the pre Maigari NFF would do. Now that Maigari is gone, have we swerved into the dark lane? “Time will tell” (in Bob Marley’s voice)

The Writer, Paschal Oge Chikero is the founder of Chikero Online. He tweets as @sirchikero.

Articles on are solely authors opinion

Stephen Keshi Sacked As Super Eagles Coach , Amodu To Replace Him As Interim Manager

The Big Boss has been relieved of his job in charge of the Super Eagles along with his coaching crew and has been replaced with Amodu Shaibu and a consortium of local coaches

The Nigeria Football Federation has announced the sack of Stephen Keshi as coach of the Super Eagles early on Thursday morning.

He will be replaced, alongside his assistants Daniel Amokachi and Ike Shorunmu, by a consortium of local coaches led by former coach Amodu Shaibu who will handle the team’s remaining Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches until a substantive trainer is employed.

Keshi’s job had come under intense scrutiny since the start of the qualifiers in September when the team lost 3-2 to Congo at home before picking one point in a draw against South Africa in Cape Town.

A further defeat in Khartoum to Sudan made his tenure look like coming to an inglorious end after a fairy tale year where he led the Super Eagles to victory at the 2013 Afcon in South Africa.

The title defense in Morocco next year was looking bleak until Wednesday’s 3-1 victory over Sudan in Abuja restored a glimmer of hope.

Keshi had also become embroiled in fights over players with Villareal striker Ikechukwu Uche being accused of wanting to be begged to play for the country. The player has denied all allegations.

However, the new NFF board was not convinced about his abilities and has now relieved him of the job, urging him and his assistants to proceed on any training programme of their choice that would be funded by the federation as a form of gratitude to the “national heroes”.

Their exit means that former national team coach, Shaibu, who has been a part of the NFF in a technical role, will now return to the position for the next tow matches against Congo and South Africa

Like Super Eagles, Like Goodluck Jonathan By Ayodele Daniel

Few days ago, Nigeria played against Uruguay in the on-going Confederations Cup taking place in Brazil. Although the Super Eagles fell 1-2 to the Uruguayans, a random sample of opinions especially from my friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter suggests the Coach Stephen Keshi tutored lads did not disappoint. How so?

I did not watch the match. Matter of fact, I’ve stopped watching any game involving the senior national team for a very long time now. Maybe, who knows, I might yet again gather the courage to watch them play just as I salute the millions of Nigerians who have not lost faith in the Super Eagles.

But how did the same Nigerians who once labelled their favourite national team the ‘Super Ducks’, ‘Super Chickens’, etc. suddenly find them ‘Super Eagles’ once more? Did they just hate the coaches, players or were they just too blind to see the ‘achievements’ of the boys on the field of play? Were Nigerians sponsored to hate their own national team? Or did the opposition turn Nigerians against them just to spite the government of the day?

Here lies the true motive of why I’d to put hand to keyboard to type out my thoughts on the Nigerian situation.

The President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration is undoubtedly the most criticized and if I must add, the most misunderstood and mistrusted in Nigerian history. But was it like this from the beginning; the relationship between Nigerians and their President whom they massively voted for in the hope of enjoying a ‘breath of fresh air’? At what point did the relationship turn sour? When did it become one where the head became disconnected from the rest of the body and vice-versa?

I can’t simply place a time-line to it but I make bold to say that the day the present administration began to see every other voice of dissent to its much touted ‘Transformation Agenda’ as the ‘ramblings’ of a ‘disgruntled few’ or an outburst by the ‘collective children of anger,’ that is when it began to isolate itself from the realities on ground.

From my little understanding, contrary to what some might think, Nigerians are a very grateful people but with very short memory. Let me cite an example that touches on almost everyone.

When the Federal Government seemed to have improved (no matter how small) electricity generation and distribution (and don’t pretend like it wasn’t noticeable) in most parts of the country, Nigerians were excited and some even began to see some flicker of hope in the present administration but somewhere along the line (I think with the exit of Prof. Barth Nnaji) the modest effort was frittered and it seemed we descended to a worse state. Did Nigerians continue with their praise-singing? Did you?

We appreciate the little efforts even when we deserve more but why can’t the present administration see some genuineness in some of the criticisms it receives almost on a daily the same way it readily accepts the accolades?

The current dispensation has come to accept only praises but discards knocks, no matter how genuine. In fact, it has come to descend heavily on critics and only just recently set an examination for itself and scored itself ‘A’ in all areas. Who does that?

Obviously, our politicians still haven’t imbibed the spirit of sportsmanship in all their dealings with Nigerians. They are the players; we are the fans. But we are not their supporters’ club.

I digress. No matter how bad the Super Eagles are having it on the field of play, the main job of the Nigeria Supporters Club is to keep cheering them on from the beginning of the blast of the referee’s whistle to the end. The sounds of the trumpets, drums, roars, songs will not ebb. That’s because it is their job. It’s the reason why they registered to join the supporters’ club; to sink or swim with the Eagles. But the fans at home, even some in the stadium don’t agree. Their loyalty is fickle. The Super Eagles have on several occasions been jeered by their home fans for a poor display. Did that make them bad fans? No! It’s just a wake-up call.

When the majority of Nigerians who seemed to be in love with Mr. Jonathan and his style of leadership at first suddenly turned cold and scathing of his policies, his style and person, it did not mean that their hearts were poisoned towards him. It only meant he wasn’t living up to their expectations.

A sensible and God-fearing leader would have retraced his steps and find a way to cement his relationship with the people who stood by him and gave him their mandate, but what did President Jonathan do? He isolated himself the more from the people by surrounding himself with bootlickers and persons of questionable characters whose only interests remain their pockets. And as if that wasn’t enough, the President destroyed whatever remained of that relationship/goodwill by not giving a damn!

Had the Super Eagles not given a damn, carried on as if all was well when it wasn’t, they wouldn’t have found themselves in the good books of majority of Nigerians who now stay up late to watch them play and pray for their victory. That’s the Nigerian spirit; one that recognizes success from a mile off and embraces it while distancing itself from failure immediately it begins to surface.

The present administration will do well to go back to the drawing board as they’ve always done but to the Nigerian people, they must ask their forgiveness for taking them for granted. Yes, they think us fools! We’re the only ones who cannot see the ‘giant’ strides being made in every sector of the economy. In fact, some even say the present administration has exceeded its promise to Nigerians and I ask, in what way?

The present administration must sit-up and set mind to task. They’ve relaxed for too long basking in the infamy of failure and quoting fanciful figures and reports that seem taken from another world not the one we live in where unemployment, poverty, insecurity, corruption, disunity and other evils have probably being the highest of all time.

It won’t be easy, Nigerians will remain sceptical, but I daresay that when the present administration truly begins to make the welfare of the generality of Nigerians its focal point and stop engaging in self-glorification, it will once more begin to enjoy the support of all and sundry in ways unimaginable.

The Super Eagles are a testament to that part of the Nigerian spirit that wipes the slate clean to begin a fresh start.

I am @ayoadaniel on Twitter