I'm a die-hard fan of the Nigeria Super Eagles. This name is associated with the senior Football players that represent the Nigerian state at sporting events and competitions. Yes, I am and I will always be a fan. When Nigeria thrashed the Cameroon national team on September 1, 2017, by four goals to nil, it was a very proud and euphoric moment for me. To football loving Nigerians this was extraordinary since the Eagles rarely ever win and certainly not by such a flattering score. This was very much the case before Gernot Rohr, our current coach came on board.

What did they say?

I had enthusiastically hurried back to the internet to read follow-up comments on how well our national team players performed. You could see different kinds of comments. The optimistic, believed the Eagles have been syringed back to life, that its only a matter of time before our dearest Super Eagles are back to the pinnacle of world football. The pessimistic, on the other hand, laughed it off.

They chose to believe it was merely a one-off. "They will be back to their usual escapades in no time," one fellow said. I enjoyed them, smiling and laughing intermediately as I read through as many comments as I could.

Just when I was about calling it a day on the internet, I stumbled on one irritating comment that was just so irrelevant. Here, this bloke chose to forget about the players, the coach and virtually everything that went on, on the field of play and instead dwelt on something that is of no use and has no place whatsoever in the game - ethnicity!

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You could see his feeble and desperate attempt to outline all twenty-three Eagles in camp with their corresponding ethnic groupings. And from what he came up with conclusively, one could see that the bulk of these Super Eagles players were Igbo-oriented. By that, I mean, Nigerians that speak Igbo as their first language. Brazenly, he finalized "up Biafra!" What a shame that was. Absolutely tragic. Only strange people would think of something like ethnicity in such a joyous and fun-filled moment like we had.

A rethink

Well, at a second look at it, one could see the point he was trying to stress. The "Biafrans," actually make or/and take the largest fraction of the Eagles squad. But why is this so? Why does one group of people have to overpopulate the national team and in almost absolute subjugation of other groupings? Paul Adujie had this to say on the same subject in his article "Federal Character and Quota System in Nigeria" that; "...it is important, particularly, in a plural society such as Nigeria, that all citizens feel a sense of equal voice, equal representation, and equal participation.

No citizen or group of citizens should feel marginalized."

In other words, in a democratic state as Nigeria's, the rule of law ought to prevail. No single homogeneous group of people should be made to feel they are intrinsically more capable than another. As such, in a multi-ethnic, multicultural and multilingual state as Nigeria, equal chance and opportunity should be the watchword. Our national team deserves the best out there and therefore to ensure we have nothing short of that - the administrative bodies should do away with favoritism and preferential treatment that defies every sense of rationality.

This is even more conspicuous in our political sphere and the society at large where such is the order of the day. Every nook and cranny of this country should be combed thoroughly in search of raw talent and not ethnically a selective few. Our diversities are blessings and should be properly engaged and made use of. Football competitions should be from the grassroots levels, where talents are collected, groomed and showcased to the world. In whatever disguise it comes, let us rise as citizens of Nigeria and say "No" to the quota system in football and the Nigerian state at large.

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