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Feature: Lessons Ghana can learn from Nigeria's winning of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations title

Published on: 15 February 2013

By winning the 2013 African Cup of Nations, the Super Eagles of Nigeria have successfully completed their mission.

This is the third time Nigeria has won the Nations Cup. The first was in 1980, and the second in 1994. This year’s success is reminiscent of the character and determination employed in the previous wins.

Before the competition, analysts had tipped countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and South Africa as possible favourites to clinch the coveted cup.

Nigeria obviously went to the competition as an underdog, perhaps because of unrated local players in the team and due to prior experiences when the team did not perform well.

After his appointment as Super Eagles’ coach, Stephen Keshi, who had earlier taken Mali and Togo to the Nations Cup, had a point to prove – that local coaches in Africa have what it takes to fly if given the opportunity and right environment.

Known for his guts and passion to do things right, Keshi set out to perform. Unlike in the past when various factors such as ethnicity, foreign-based account and favouritism dictated choice of players, Keshi stuck to merit and commitment of players over and above everything else.

It is now clear that what gave Nigeria the victory was a blend of the ability to select team members without external influence, team commitment, focused leadership, and approaching and surmounting every challenge as they come.

With commitment, the players and their handlers gave their best, further inspired by the determination to prove critics wrong.

It was, therefore, heartening to hear the sports minister and chairman of the National Sports Commission, Bolaji Abdullahi, saying the victory has lifted the mood of the nation ahead of the 100th anniversary celebration, adding: “This is not the final destination. We will work with other authorities to ensure that we build on the current success and make the Super Eagles world-class beaters.”

The Super Eagles’ win has presented a management formula for Ghana and the Black Stars on how to be great again. Governments all over the world are in competition to succeed and it is only the right formula juxtaposed with the right team and focus that can guarantee this achievement.

This was buttressed by President Goodluck Jonathan when he said after he watched the final match between the Super Eagles and the Stallions of Burkina Faso: “This is a transformed Super Eagles and their success shows that with cooperation we can achieve a lot. We should all work together to achieve our common goal.”

It is instructive that the Super Eagles’ win is a function of good preparation and concentration on the job. No nation will achieve success without concentration, cohesion, teamwork, and proper guidance from the leadership. Nigeria is blessed with abundance of resources that with determination and team players in various sectors, the nation could achieve the expected success in a short time.

The Nigerian brand is a combination of determination, perseverance and encouragement. If Nigerian leaders could step backwards on the subject of nation-building and create an atmosphere of credibility in the dream of excellence, which is what Keshi and his team did, and work hard to achieve it, then we will be on a journey of progress.

We wish the Super Eagles and Nigeria more successes in future endeavours.


This article has 7 comment(s), give your comment
  • Kwame says:
    February 15, 2013 05:23 am
    What a lazily-written editorial. If you couldn't come up with any actual analysis, why even waste your time writing this? The only thing worse than watching Ghana at the AFCON is being subjected to some of the writing on this website.
  • Ajax says:
    February 15, 2013 06:29 am
    The only problem is Akwesi Appiah must go now because he is not tactically good for our dear black stars.How can he play Kwodzo Asamoah in left side of defence and even don't know who is his role model.
  • john brown says:
    February 15, 2013 06:52 am
    Absolute rubbish! Where are the lessons that Ghana can learn.
  • omonaija says:
    February 15, 2013 07:20 am
    @kwame, don't insult d writer, all he/she was just saying is dat u should learn 4rm ur big brother country (nigeria) cus we always lead wen other countries in africa follows e.g ghana, so pls give d writer his/her respect cus he was just saying u should give respect and learn 4rm ur big brother big brother country (NIGERIA) b4 is too late.
  • kantoose says:
    February 15, 2013 01:27 pm
    all what Ghana can learn is next time give the captain band to a performing player in a respectable league.
  • Kwame says:
    February 17, 2013 05:25 pm
    The article had no concrete analysis. Trust me, I was as respectful as I could possibly be. I suppose it is my problem for wanting to read insightful writing about my beloved Black Stars. This was just a string of generalities that any casual fan could have spewed out at a neighborhood pub. And by the way, I have a lot of respect for Nigeria's performance and have congratulated practically every Nigerian I know or have met.
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