Nigeria beat Burkino Faso 2-1 in Johannesburg last night to win the competition for the third time, and the first time since 1994.
In the president’s message posted on his Facebook page, which currently has almost 900,000 likes, he described the players, coaching crew and other members of the Nigerian national senior soccer team as patriots.
“I am overjoyed at the stunning victory of the Super Eagles which has seen Nigeria emerge as the champions of the African Cup of Nations, 2013. Well done Patriots, you have done Nigeria proud. 2013 is obviously the year of Nigeria,” the president said.
According to him, Nigeria has been able to show the world that the nation does not need to rely on foreign interventions to record success.
“We have emerged as a beacon of hope on the African continent by proving to Africa and the world that a strong Nigerian team put together and trained by a Nigerian coach can stand the test of time and successfully rise to the challenge of a most formidable opponent,” he wrote.
“The Nigerian spirit stands strong and steady as we march to the destination of greatness. I doff my fedora hat to this great squad that has brought laughter and happiness to our homes. Nigerians are grateful. We thank God. We thank you.”
Nigeria’s highly celebrated Christian leader, Pastor E. A. Adeboye, also congratulated the nation via Facebook. He told more than one million Facebook fans to use the victory as a reason to set differences aside.
“Congratulations to the Super Eagles. i have always been proud being a Nigerian but with this win, I pray all Nigerians will put their differences aside and thank the Almighty God for giving us victory. We Pray for this same victory in all areas of our Great Nation of Nigeria in Jesus name,” the pastor wrote.
Telecoms giant Globacom Nigeria, through its official Twitter account @GlobacomLimited, also congratulated the national team.
“Congrats Nigeria, We celebrate d Super Eagles. Glo, official sponsor of d Supporters Club of d Super Eagles of Nigeria,” the company said.
In addition to the congratulatory tweet, the company has also announced a US$1 million donation to the team.
Ordinary Nigerians also used the various social media platforms to share their thoughts on the nation’s victory. One of the popular tweets was by @am_Jety, who tweeted: “Afcon 2013 started 19th of Jan, d last goal was scored by jersey no 19 on a Sunday by a Sunday, and we won it after 19yrs. Up Super Eagles.”