By Jacob Ajom
Beyond the seeming altruistic posturings of the politicians, the overwhelming show of patriotism among Nigerians, particularly toward today’s elections has restored some degree of hope in the citizenry regarding the future of their country.
A non-governmental organisation, TAP Initiative is in the vanguard of a campaign for a new Nigeria.
Anchored on the power of the voter to effect change in the polity, the organisation embarked on a month-long voter awareness campaign, encouraging Nigerians to go for their Permanent Voters’ Card with the youth as hteir primary target.
The organisation decided to use football to get to the youth and this informed the staging of the biggest politically motivated football match in the history of Nigeria as they pitched the 1994 AFCON-winning Super Eagles and their 2013 counterparts who won the tournament in South Africa under coach Stephen Keshi of blessed memory.
Although the match was overshadowed by the APC mega-rally in Lagos, ardent football fans trooped to the Yaba College of Technology Sports Complex. The players turnout was also encouraging. Ex internationals that featured for the1994 Super Eagles include Victor Ikpeba, Ben Iroha, Okechukwu Uche,Mutiu Adepoju, Samson Siasia, Kanu Nwankwo, Godwin Opara, Waidi Akanni and Aloy Agu as goalkeeper.
The 2013 set were led by captain Joseph Yobo, Ndukwe Chukwu, Karibe Ojigane, Mobi Oparaku, Victor Agali, Emeka Ifegiagwa, Ifeanyi Nweke, Dayo Ojo, Ifeanyi Udeze, Sunday Adetunji and Emeka Ikejiofor as goalkeeper.
In the match which lasted just 40 minutes(20 minute per half), the 2013 Super Eagles defeated their 1994 counterparts 5 – 3 to win the PVC novelty football match.
At the end of regulation time the match ended godless but the resultant shoot out saw the 2013 AFCON winners prevail over their more illustrious senior counterparts of the tunisia ’94 fame.
Executive Director, Tap Initiative, Mbasekei Martin Obono, thanked the ex-internationals for their massive response and commitment to the cause. He urged voters to emulate them on election day by turning out enmass to vote. “Nobody should sit on the fence. You must exercise your civic right and vote, “ Obono said.
Only PVC-carrying fans were allowed into the arena to watch the match.