Chairman of Air Peace airline, Allen Onyema, yesterday, rallied the Super Eagles to victory against Cape Verde with a pledge of N20 million gift for victory.
Onyema, while sending off the team at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, said the team, just like their successful outings, is central to Nigeria’s unity.
The flag carrier some days ago signed a four-year deal worth N500 million with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), to emerge the official airline of the national teams.
He said Air Peace was happy to be associated with the team, and their victory against Liberia on Friday.
“You won your first match resoundingly and we expect that the next one, happening in Cape Verde in 24 hours time, will not be different,” he said.
Stressing sports as a medium of unification, Onyema hinted that Air Peace threw its weight behind the national teams to restore hope in Nigeria, especially at a time where the nation is in distress.
“Gentlemen, why I decided to come to the airport at this time of the night by 2 am to address you is because of this, you are not just going to play a football match, you’re going to carry on your young shoulders the aspirations and the hope of a nation almost in distress.
“A lot of people expect that this is the beginning of the peace and the unity and oneness we want in our nation Nigeria. We don’t have any other nation. The international community is envious of our nation. I want you to, please, go out there and shine for your nation.
“When you were playing on Friday, everybody jettisoned their ethnicity. The people in the South-East were clapping, the people in the North were clapping, the South-South also were clapping. I almost shed tears when Ahmed Musa was called in during the second half. Majority of the spectators at the Stadium were southern Nigerians but when the name of Ahmed Musa came up, a Kano indigene, the stadium roared up for joy, people were hailing, Nigerians stood up for him.
“Nigerians were expecting that you players should win for the nation, nobody remembered their ethnicity. Nobody remembered that they were Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Fulani, or whatever.”