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AFCON: Sports minister hails Iwobi amid criticism

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Honourable Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, engaged in a poignant discussion with Super Eagles midfielder, Alex Iwobi, in response to the distressing wave of cyberbullying targeting the Fulham star. 

The revelation came to light through a statement issued by Enoh’s dedicated media aide, Diana-Mary Tiku Nsan signifying the Ministry’s proactive stance on addressing the matter.

Senator Enoh, who led the Super Eagles back home after the gripping 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final against Ivory Coast, conveyed his heartfelt concern to Iwobi, acknowledging the detrimental impact of online harassment on athletes. 

He reiterated the Ministry’s unwavering commitment to safeguarding the well-being of sports personalities, condemning any form of bullying directed at them.

Expressing solidarity with Iwobi, Senator Enoh reflected on the midfielder’s unwavering commitment to the national team amidst adversities. “I am aware of what is happening on social media, and as a ministry, this is not the first time we are going to make a statement against bullying, not just you but our sportsmen and women in general who are exposed to bullying due to the outcome of competitions,” Senator Enoh remarked solemnly during their conversation.

In response to the barrage of disparaging comments following the AFCON 2023 final, Iwobi made the courageous decision to distance himself from social media platforms. “For me, I have taken myself out of social media after yesterday’s game,” Iwobi confirmed, highlighting the toll cyberbullying had taken on his mental well-being.

Senator Enoh, however, offered unwavering support and encouragement to the resilient midfielder, commending his invaluable contribution to Nigerian football.

“You did your best for your country and I am proud of you. The leadership and the rest of the country are proud of you,” Senator Enoh affirmed, emphasizing the significance of Iwobi’s role in the team’s silver medal victory at AFCON 2023.

As the conversation concluded, Senator Enoh reassured Iwobi of the nation’s unwavering support and gratitude for his dedication. “Those who are not are in the far minority and do not speak for the rest of our country, so just be strong,” Senator Enoh urged, encouraging Iwobi to remain steadfast in the face of adversity. “You did your best, you are part of a team that brought home a silver medal which the country last won at AFCON 2000, which is 23 years ago. You put in your best, thank you very much,” Senator Enoh concluded.

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