The expectations of many people have been dashed as the presidency on Saturday, cleared the air on the reports that President Bola Tinubu will be in Abidjan, to watch the final match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria, and the Cote d’Ivoire team.
The hope was dashed on Saturday, in a statement issued by the Special Adviser to President Tinubu on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.
Ngelale in the statement revealed that the President has directed his vice, Senator Kashim Shettima, to lead the government delegation to the final of the ongoing African Cup of Nations, in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, has directed Vice President Kashim Shettima to lead a presidential team to the finals of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire,” Ngelale said.
CAF President Patrice Motsepe had earlier hinted during a press conference in Abidjan on Friday, that Tinubu will be part of the dignitaries to watch the Super Eagles at the Stade Alassane Ouattara.
“I was told the President of Nigeria is coming,” Motsepe revealed. “I was sitting next to the Vice President (Kashim Shettima) during the Nigeria-South Africa game. While I can’t show excitement when any nation scores, they said they could see my happiness. And yes, I am always happy!”, Motsepe said.
Meanwhile, the vice president had earlier represented the president at the semi-final, when the Super Eagles defeated South Africa in a pulsating encounter to launch a final place against the host country, Cote d’Ivoire, at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan on Sunday, 11 February.
The statement continued: “Recognising the unifying power of football and the immense role the Super Eagles play in fostering national pride and unity, the President, His Excellency, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, believes that Vice President Shettima’s presence at the finals alongside the delegation is a testament to the government’s unwavering support for the team and its dedication to their success.
“The Federal Government calls on all Nigerians, both at home and abroad, to unite in support of the Super Eagles, and to raise their voices in encouragement, and create a wave of national pride that propels the team to glory.”
However, some other dignitaries who will be gracing the game against South Africa’s Bafana, are the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, and his Bayelsa counterpart, Douye Diri, who were also in Bouake for the semi-final game.