By Chux Odoh
Nigeria’s Super Eagles Crashed out of the FIFA World Cup in Russia after being defeated by arch-rivals Argentina 2 goals to one in a thrilling encounter that saw World cup legend Diego Maradona almost develop health issues.
The happiness of 190 million Nigerians was thwarted by a late strike by Marcos Rojo whose goal saw Argentina move one point above the Super Eagles to qualify behind Argentina.
There have been a lot of ‘What Ifs’ and ‘What not’ about how the game should have turned out and as usual, several players within the Nigerian team, especially Odion Ighalo have been criticised for not doing enough to help the team to progress to the second round over Argentina. However, for some, the Nigerian team gave their best and there is nothing that can be done about it as in a game of football, there must always be a winner.
Nigeria’s exit from the world cup means that there will be less attention from Nigerians on the remaining games in the competition. This some say is a perfect opportunity for Nigerians to reflect on the reported carnage and continuous violence that has continued to affect several parts of the country, especially the middle-belt states of Plateau and Benue state.
This part of Nigeria has continued to endure violent attacks which stem from numerous clashes by farmers and suspected herdsmen. The latest occurrence happened last Saturday, June 23 where over 200 Nigerians were killed in an attack supposedly carried out by the Herdsmen.
The herdsmen who under the Meyeti Allah group, a body which oversees the activities of its members have reportedly confirmed to be responsible for the various attacks in the last few days, saying it was in retaliation to the killings of their cows by farmers and the locals of their host communities.
One thing is for certain, Nigerians are tired of the constant news of needless deaths arising from these senseless killings and have criticised the Federal government led by President Muhammadu Buhari for not doing enough to protect the lives and properties of Nigerian citizens. Though the President visited the area where the last attacks happened yesterday, there s unconfirmed reports that violence resumed after the President left back to Abuja.
Nigerian comedian and TV personality Okey Bakassi after the game yesterday asked Nigerians not to troll the Eagles over their performance as they had given their best. In a Video posted, he said our exit from the world cup will now give Nigerians the opportunity to focus on its internal problems and hold the government accountable to its responsibilities.
It’s sad that we are out of the #worldcup2018 It’s time to focus on the problems at home. Let’s transfer the same energy, passion and patriotism to tackle the problems at home. #realitycheck #holdgovernmentaccountable #proudlynaija #playyourpart
A post shared by Okey Onyegbule (@okeybakassi) on Jun 26, 2018 at 1:27pm PDT
Just like Okey Bakassi, many more Nigerians share the same sentiments with the comedian and have been baring their opinion on social media, hoping to make enough noise that will attract adequate response that will bring an end to the internal crisis that the country is faced with.
See some of the comments below:
Dear Nigerians, now our World Cup dream is over, let me remind you of the current situation:
4. BOKO HARAM
7. Extreme poverty.
8. LEAH SHARIBU.
9. Plateau, Zamfara, Benue etc
Where do we start from?
— Mr. Jack Robinson (@jackdre02) June 26, 2018
— Nasser Al-Saadi (@Nass) June 27, 2018
People in Plateau can’t watch the WC in peace tho. We being able to be here and complain in the first place is a luxury. Remember them in your prayers tonight! There are bigger things to worry about in this country than the Super Eagles.
— Oluniyi Gates (@oluwapower) June 26, 2018
Now that we are out, we now have your time. Why are you not prosecuting Miyetti Allah for the Plateau killings? pic.twitter.com/jyDtEvXZQ9
— No Ketchup Podcast (@joeyakan) June 26, 2018
We must not exercise our usual amnesia, there’s a massacre ongoing in Plateau state and we must face the fact that these massacres happen on a frequent.
Nigerian lives must matter! #StopPlateauKillings
— Eka (@Lionezz__) June 27, 2018
Now that we are out of the world cup, can we now focus on what’s important.
— rEaL 🇳🇬 (@creativerealens) June 26, 2018
So many (in these troubled areas & victims of these murderous sons of perdition) would have loved to watch the match today.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t.
♦Some are still battling for their lives
♦Some mourning their deceased.
♦ Leah can’t – still in captivity.#JUSTICE!
— AsQ 🇳🇬🇳🇬 (@AsQTweets) June 26, 2018
I live in America but couldn’t watch the match. Seeing those gory pictures, I lost appetite, I don’t even give a rat ass if Eagles lose or win. This nonsense must STOP! Not once not twice not thrice, every single day Nigeria is on the news for the very wrong reasons. SAD!!
— GMD (@MultiChris1) June 26, 2018
Just hearing unconfirmed-but-heartbreaking news about YET another round of killings in Plateau state. My God. When will this ever end, Nigeria?!?!?!
— Banky Wellington (@BankyW) June 26, 2018
I am actually not so perturbed that we lost to Argentina today. We lost 150 lies in Plateau 3 days ago. We can always qualify for another World Cup, but these souls are gone. At least we scored one goal today against Argentina, but they can’t achieve any of their goals for life!
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) June 26, 2018
Stop discussing the Super Eagles! Focus on the rating of Nigeria as the country with the highest number of the extremely poor, overtaking India with a population of one billion. Six Nigerians become extremely poor every minute. Then address genocide in Plateau state! Shame!
— FERDINAND IBEZIM (@Ferdibezim) June 27, 2018
While we watched #bbnaija our presido called us #lazynigerianyouths, nd we didn’t pay full attention to Dat, while we supported #SuperEagles in d #WorldCup the wer killing ppl in Plateau state. We wer distracted. Ehmm which other interesting program is coming up soon?
— bubes (@BubexPraise) June 27, 2018
Super Eagles captain was born and raised in Jos and some other players. His family still resides in Jos. Is the killing in Plateau not enough to even destabilize the players?
— Jones Anozie (@janozy) June 27, 2018
Isn’t this too much for a country? Just within a week
Nigeria is now ranked above India in people leaving in extreme poverty .
Over 200 people killed in Plateau
Nigeria Super Eagle dumped out of FIFA World Cup.
The only thing that gives us relief this period.#WhyAlwaysNigeria
— Obamina E. Roger (@roger_obamina) June 27, 2018