The Federal Government has finally fulfilled the promise of allocating houses to the victorious 1994 Super Eagles Team after 28 years.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola in a ceremony, handed over the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) of three bedrooms Federal Government houses to each team member on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on March 7, the Federal Government said it was going to fulfil its promise to the team when it delivered 76 housing units to the Nasarawa State Government.
The promise was actually made by the then military government of Gen. Sani Abacha, when the Super Eagles Squad won the African Cup of Nations in Tunis, Tunisia, in 1994.
Fashola said it was an opportunity to remember the country’s heroes, the valiant Super Eagles to whom the country made a promise of providing houses for winning the 1994 African Cup of Nations, which had remained unfulfilled.
“We arrange with members who were beneficiaries to choose where they will be allocated and we anticipated that it is possible we give you allocation letters.
“We decided that we will be handling over at the commissioning site so that there are no more gaps to fill. We promised this and we will want to make sure that it does not delay any further.
“So you heard that Emanuel Amuneke and others have been given their own during the commissioning and so now this is what we are planning for you. Some of you were absent during the commissioning.
“So we invited you here to come and collect your certificates so that you will have your documents and your keys will be presented to you.
“The others in Uyo and a few other states will get their own as planned. The beneficiaries will get their titled documents and the keys at the sites.
“We planned that this will be done in a conducive environment so that there will be no more loopholes.
“And indeed, we found out that the name of Finidi George was not included and we told Mr President and I’m sure that he will provide a remedy for that.’’
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and some of the 1994 Super Eagles Team Members
Responding, Peter Rufai, the Goal Keeper of the team, said he felt demoralised and pained for the number of years that they had to be waiting and hoping that they would be given their houses.
“To be honest, it was not easy thinking about it. I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the bold step in making sure that we get this promise made to us 28 years ago.
“I also want to use this platform to show my appreciation to the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare for the effort he put into this to ensure that today we are here to receive these houses.
“Again to our minister of works, we say a big thank you to you; as you all know, some of our colleagues are not present to see this happen and their loved ones have come here to collect on their behalf.
“With this, any other upcoming child, sportsmen or women in any department of sports, be it football or athletics now has hope that whenever I am selected to represent Nigeria, I will give all my best and be rewarded.
“And I pray that this system continues so that we will see the beauty of our men and women, it doesn’t matter your field and we will also be happy with our leaders.’’
NAN reports that the players presented with CoOs are Peter Rufai, Steven Elema, Isaac Semitoje, and Sunday Oliseh represented by his brother Albert Oliseh,.
Others are Victor Ikpeba, Chief Anthony Okeleke, Uche Okafor represented by his daughter Tochukwu Okafor, and Austine Egwuavon, the coach of the senior team.