Yobo was reacting to a letter delivered to the team on Monday evening by the Sports Minister, Hon. Bolaji Abdulahi, who was in the company of the Nigerian Ambassador to South Africa S. S. Yusuf, President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Aminu Maiagari, Executive Committee member of the federation, Chief Emeka Inyama and Director, Technical, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme.
The letter, which was personally signed by President Jonathan, read in part: “The Africa Cup of Nations has always been an exciting and important sports event for us in Nigeria and other African countries. However, this edition of 2013 even holds a greater significance for us as a nation.
“Next year, 2014, our dear country will be 100 years old. As we look back and celebrate our achievements as a strong and united nation, we cannot understate the role sports, especially football, has played in our national life. Football remains one enduring unifying factor in our country, which transcends our diversity.
A successful outing at the Africa Cup of Nations will offer a great opportunity to further inspire pride, faith and hope in a re-energised new Nigeria in the course of our centennial celebrations”.
The Eagles’ skipper, Yobo, who was in the company of all the 23 members of the squad and technical crew, said he was moved by the fact that despite the busy schedule the President has, he still found time to watch the Eagles and motivate the team.
He declared that the team is now more than inspired to do the nation proud at the championship in South Africa. “On behalf of my mates, I will assure Mr President that we will not let him down. All we need is for him to continue to say his fatherly prayers for us and we shall surely deliver,” he said.