Buhari To Redeem Pledge Made To 1985 U-17 Champions

We always sing in our national anthem that the labour of our heroes past shall never been in vain. That is ok to sing, I guess…but to what extent do we mean it? Are they just empty fancy words. One challenge I have always had is our poor regard for history.

If a people never keep record, never look back, hardly ever care to check facts, can they truly say the labour of their heroes will never be in vain?

First, I suppose we have to decide and define who and what our heroes are and then we decide what to do to show how much we appreciate them. Then, step three…we follow through on our promises. How is it that we let this slip through the cracks? T

Today, we celebrate a group of young men…Under 17 who have made us proud by becoming world champions. No doubt, great banquets and parties will be thrown on their behalf and many promises will be showered on them. But for how long will we remember them once the novelty of this win begins to were off?

Afterall, they were not the first to do this for us. Let’s go back to 1985. A group of young men…not unlike these ones gave us this trophy for the very first time. Let’s go back to our very first time.

It turns out we didn’t keep our promises

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the batch of Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets who first won the Under-17 World Cup in 1985, that his administration will fulfill the promises made 30 years ago.

The promises were made during a reception held at Dodan Barracks with the players, in celebration of their outstanding victory.

In a statement on Tuesday by a spokesman to the President, Mr Garba Shehu, Buhari said it had been brought to his attention that a directive which he gave to the state governments at the time had not been complied with.

“It is a pity that those promises were never fulfilled,” he said.

“It is unfortunate that our players, who did us proud on the world stage went unrewarded for their efforts, despite a presidential directive to the state administrators that they be honoured in their home states.”

The statement noted that, of the various promises made to the players at the time, only the Federal Government fulfilled its own commitment by sponsoring the players on a trip to watch the 1986 World Cup, which took place in Mexico.

The houses, scholarships and naming of streets after each player were supposed to have been catered for by the states.

The statement noted that shortly after the commitment was given, the Military administration under General Muhammadu Buhari was replaced and that despite repeated representations made to succeeding governments by the players and their officials, the promises made were left unfulfilled.

“I apologise for whatever embarrassment and disillusionment in your country these raised and then dashed hopes may have caused you.

“My government will do all within its power to remedy the situation,” the President said.

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