President Goodluck Jonathan has asked the President of the Senate, David Mark, to represent him in South Africa on Sunday when the Super Eagles of Nigeria will meet the Burkina Fasso national team in the final match of the ongoing African Cup of Nations.
Jonathan, who had initially promised to be in South Africa for the final match if the Super Eagles qualified, said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, on Friday that he would no longer be able to attend personally because of his official commitments in London and Paris.
The President, however, urged the Mark-led delegation that includes Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State; Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State; Minister of State (Foreign Affairs) Prof. Viola Onwuliri; Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade; and the Minister of State (Works), Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, to ensure that the players are properly motivated to win the trophy.
He asked members of the delegation to inform the players of his decision to host them on Tuesday at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Jonathan said the reception was meant to thank them for their performance, which he said had re-established Nigeria as a major power in international soccer.
The statement read in part, “To further boost the morale and spirits of the Super Eagles ahead of the AFCON 2013 finals, President Goodluck Jonathan is sending a high-powered delegation led by the President of the Senate, Senator David Mark, to represent him and the Federal Government at the match in Johannesburg on Sunday.
“President Jonathan, who, because of urgent official commitments in London and Paris, cannot be physically present in Johannesburg to lead the cheering for the Super Eagles as he would have wished, has charged the delegation to ensure that the members of the team are properly motivated and in the best possible spirits to win a resounding victory for the nation on Sunday.