Cross RiverState Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke, practically led African champions, the Super Eagles of Nigeria into Calabar, the state capital on Monday morning, as he was in the same Arik Air flight that took the team to the CanaanCity on yesterday.
As the 10 players and officials boarded the aircraft few minutes to 11am, they were oblivious of the fact that Governor Imoke will be on board until when he suddenly entered and exchanged pleasantries with Head Coach Stephen Keshi and his assistant, Dan ‘The Bull’ Amokachi, before the aircraft crew announced to all that the governor was flying with the Super Eagles.
The 50 minutes flight from the NnamdiAzikiweInternationalAirport Abuja to the MagaretEkpoInternationalAirport in Calabar, was smooth.
The team was received on arrival by Hon. Patrick Ugbe, the state’s Sports Commissioner and Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme, who is the Director, Technical at the Nigeria Football Federation. As usual the team witnessed the now familiar singing and drumming by the Nigerian Football and Other Sports Supporters Club, CrossRiver chapter.
After airport formalities the team went straight to the Transcorp Metropolitan Hotel in the heart of the city where it would be quartered for Saturday’s encounter against the Harambee Stars of Kenya.
Sports Commissioner, Hon Patrick Ugbe, also revealed on Monday that instead of Thursday, Governor Liyel Imoke will now receive the Afcon trophy on Wednesday during the state Executive Council Meeting in the state capital. The shift he revealed is as a result of the tight schedule of the governor this week, assuring however, that Senator Imoke will be back on time for Saturday’s World Cup qualifier.
Head Coach Stephen Keshi said he was delighted to be back in Calabar, and he was doubly happy because the Governor practically led the team to the city. “We hope we can give him victory also in the double digits”, he said jokingly.