The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has hit back at Nigerians who have been blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for the Super Eagles loss to the Tunisian football team on Sunday, January 23, 2022.
The Carthage Eagles of Tunisia bundled Nigeria out of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament thanks to a long range, ferocious strike from Youssef Msakni.
The Nigerians chased the game afterwards; and things quickly went from bad to worse when Everton midfielder Alex Iwobi was sent off five minutes after coming on, with VAR replays showing that he had planted his studs on his marker who hit the deck immediately.
After the defeat, some social media users blamed President Buhari, who held a video chat with the Eagles, hours before the crucial encounter with the Tunisians.
The president was blamed for rubbing a perceived “ill-luck” or “bad vibes” on the team with his video call.
But Adesina, who speaks for the president, is having none of it.
“I have read many silly, idiotic and imbecilic comments, trying to link the loss to the video conference the President had with the players on Sunday morning. Witless. Thoughtless.
“And incidentally, if the Super Eagles had gone into the match without encouragement from their President, the same people would have come out to condemn the leader of the country for being taciturn and insensitive. Head or tail, you never win with some Nigerians,” Adesina writes in a piece he titled: ‘Losing is part of the game.’
He also frowns at those “making mischievous political capital out of the loss,” adding that: “Under Muhammadu Buhari as military head of state, we won our first Under-17 global trophy in 1985.
“In this dispensation, we have won the same trophy twice. So, why do the heathens rage, and the people imagine vain things?
“Winning is not everything-but making the EFFORT to win is,” says Lombardi. Super Eagles made the effort to win, encouraged by their President, but they lost. Sad. But that is how it is, till another day. Losing is an inevitable part of the game.”
Nigeria last won the AFCON trophy in 1980, 1994 and 2013.