The Super Eagles of Nigeria, on Sunday, February 10, 2013, won its first Africa Cup of Nations title since 1994. The country celebrated it in grand styles to the point that many even died in the euphoria of “winning.” The eagles got gifts of cash from individuals, corporate organizations and state governments during and after the tournament.
Winning the continental tournament is no small achievement considering the fact that nobody gave the eagles a chance.
But one must question the rationality of spending so much money in celebrating a lucky success when sport development is on the decline. This is a case of giving someone fish instead of teaching him how to fish. If Nigerian sport is developed from the grassroots, the eagles will win even more tournaments and we'll have more reasons to rejoice.
The cash gifts are understandable and can be forgiven. But the attitude of Nigeria’s senators and Reps as they eagerly awaited soccer victory, and especially, the president’s impulsive and barbaric reaction to this soccer victory, leaves much to be desired. Celebrating his utmost national achievement of having won a mere Africa recreational trophy, awarded/rewarded the players and officials of Super Eagles’ team with national honors?
That brings us to the question of Who deserves the national honour? Do other countries reward their athletes with national awards after every sports outing?
In my opinion, I feel the land and cash gifts are enough rewards. National awards is just so unreasonable.