Liberia sets up “Operation Qualify Liberia for South Africa 2013”.
The Liberian President who also doubles as the Chief Patron of sports, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Tuesday, launched a campaign aimed at ensuring the Lone Stars of Liberia win the match against Nigeria on Saturday.
The launch took place at the Education ministry on Broad Street in Monrovia and the campaign team’s hope is that the Lone Stars beat Nigeria so as to participate in the 2013 Africa Nations Cup to be hosted by South Africa.
Liberia’s mobilisation campaign is being organized by the Edwin Snowe led Committee. The acting head of the Committee, Geraldine Doe-Sirleaf, called on the committee members to turnout and motivate Liberians for the game, saying a good result in the first leg is important to their qualification drive.
According to Ms. Doe-Sheriff, Liberia’s president requested a change of the Code Name of the operation from “Operation Crush Nigeria” to “Operation Qualify Liberia for South Africa 2013.”
In 2010, Nigeria’s late president, Umaru Yar’Adua, set up something similar to ensure that Nigeria made it to the 2010 World Cup that was also hosted by South Africa.
The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Ameachi was the chairman of the committee dubbed Presidential Task Force on Eagles (PTF). The Eagles made it to the world cup but they were ducked in the first round of the tournament.
Jonathan charges Eagles
Just as the Liberian President is urging her team, Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan is doing same.
Mr. Jonathan put a call to Super Eagles coach, Stephen Keshi, telling him that he expects victory in this weekend’s match.
The Director General of the National Sports Commission, Patrick Ekeji, also visited the Eagles’ Bolton Apartment camp. He said he came to represent the Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahi, and Mr. Jonathan, on the need for the Eagles to triumph in Monrovia on Saturday.
“The President called me on Monday to say he wants victory at all cost and I assured him that we can get it,” team coach, Stephen Keshi told the players. “Help make the President’s dream come true and he has assured that he would reward you.”
Earlier, Mr. Ekeji, who came unannounced and spent barely five minutes to address the players, said he came to give the team good tidings.
“The President just spoke to the Honourable Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi, and he immediately instructed me to come and inform you that we want victory in Liberia,” Mr. Ekeji said.
Keshi, and Skipper, Joseph Yobo, assured that the team will not let the nation down on Saturday.
“We let the players do the talking on the pitch and the skipper has assured that they will excel”, Keshi said.
“Sir, we want victory much more than anybody and we will make Nigerians happy come Saturday, all we need is their prayers and support”, Yobo said.
All the foreign based players, except Vincent Enyeama, who is expected on Wednesday, and their NPL counterparts trained on Tuesday night for over two hours.
“I’m getting what I want and the body language is good, we hope to sustain it to achieve our aim in the Nations Cup qualifier”, Keshi declared.