The National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has launched 10 million online supporters for the Super Eagles to enable Nigerians who can’t cheer the national team at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Cameroon due to COVID-19 travel restrictions to do via online platforms.
The Director General NCAC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, unveiled the platform yesterday.
He described the initiative as a concept which other African countries will take a cue from in a not too distant future.
Runsewe said 10 million online supporters for the Eagles will ensure mass support, boost the morale and galvanise the efforts of the national team towards winning the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
“I am happy we have made history. We have even get 20 million supporters. Already in one hour of launching, 54 onlines connecting to the project. Other Africans will take a cue from us,” Runsewe said.
The initiative was ratified by some key stakeholders notable among who are former national team captain, Chief Segun Odegbami; former DG National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Dr Danladi Bako; former DG National Sports Commission Hon. Gbenga Elegbeleye; President General Worldwide, the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Oladipo; and veteran broadcaster, Dr Peter Igho.
Speaking through virtual links, Odegbami described the concept as a brilliant idea noting that the Super Eagles are presently excelling at the Africa Cup of Nations.
“Out of so many things that are going wrong in our society, our football appears to be one bright, shinning star. Mobilising Nigerians to support the national team would lift the spirit of all Nigerians and start to give us hope that gradually something great can come out of the country,” Odegbami said.
On his part, Igho said the Nigerian public is proud of the Eagles, describing them as a confident and exciting team to watch.
He said he is supporting the project because he is a proud Nigerian while football is a unifying force in the country.
Bako, who covered eight editions of Africa Cup of Nations and six FIFA World Cup finals and visited 44 countries covering the national team in a career as a broadcaster, described himself as a close fan and an admirer of the Super Eagles.
He reminded the team that the nation is watching their campaign in Cameroon, adding Nigerians have a unique way of celebrating their super stars whenever they emerge successful.
“I think the coach and the players have done well. I am looking forward to them getting to the final and I wish them the best. They are looking very, very strong, composed and organized. They fight for the ball and are in good spirit. I want to thank Otunba Runsewe for putting this together. Nothing can be better than this kind of move for the Super Eagles that require motivation, partnership, sponsorship and everything you need in a competition like this,” Bako said.
In his remarks, Elegbeleye described the online mass mobilization of Nigerians for the players as an idea that should be permanent embedded as it will let the players feel appreciated.
Oladipo, who led hundreds of supporters that travelled for 18 hours from Abuja through Bauchi down to Garoua in Cameroon, asked Nigerians to support the cause of the Super Eagles.