By Patrick Obia
The Federal Government of Nigeria has condemned in its entirety the social media attacks dished out to Nigeria’s Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi after the Sunday 2:1 Africa Cup of Nations defeat to host nation – Ivory Coast.
Iwobi was made the scapegoat as the Eagles relinquished their one-nil lead in the second half of the fierce encounter.
His cyberbullying, however, has been met with mixed reactions with many faulting the entire team rather than individual players.
“I condemn strongly the cyberbullying of Alex Iwobi or any other sportsman or woman. They give a lot if not all of themselves when representing our Nation, the least we can do is rally support for them, be kind and gracious with words and actions towards them.”
The Minister in a video posted on X (former Twitter) enjoins the Fulham star – Iwobi to be calm and not mind whatever jibe is thrown at him, as “Cyber bullies do not determine what the leadership of the country, the rest of Nigerians including myself, think of you.”
He said: “Dear Alex Iwobi be strong. You were part of a team that brought home a silver medal from AFCON 2023. The last time we won a silver was twenty-three years ago at AFCON 2000.
“You did your best and gave over forty days for the love of the nation. We applaud you. We are proud of you. Keep soaring.”
Meanwhile, the Minister applauded the entire team who won the “hearts and evoked” Nigerians “admiration”.
“We have reached the end of AFCON 2023, and I want to express my gratitude to the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the entire team who brought us this far. I applaud your commitment to winning, which led us to the finals.
“Dear Super Eagles of Nigeria, you have won our hearts and evoked our admiration. We present you with your well-deserved accolades for standing for Nigeria until the end.
We are proud of you. You took the silver, and we congratulate you and wish you all the best.
“Congratulations to William Troost Ekong, the player of the tournament AFCON 2023. Let us keep soaring!”