The Presidency has compared Nigeria’s current challenges with that of newly crowned English Premier League champions, Manchester City, which overcame numerous obstacles to reclaim the title this season.
1st News reports that the analogy came from Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Equally important, the Presidency aide made this known in an article titled: ‘’Lessons for Nigeria from EPL’’.
Adesina disclosed that in the same way Manchester City oversaw a resurgence which saw it claim the Premier League title; Nigeria will return to a tranquil state of peace and security under President Buhari. Specifically, he stated that eight weeks into the season, many City fans were angry with the club over poor performance; adding that they had given up hope that the club would win the EPL.
Further, the Presidency aide added that opposing forces were already rejoicing until Manchester City bounced back to reckoning.
“Eight weeks into this season that ends in another two weeks, Man City (as the team is popularly called); was Number 13 on the EPL table, which consists of 20 teams. And 38 games were to be played to complete the cycle.
“Fans of the team were already hissing and cursing. Their opponents were gyrating and doing a jig, saying Man City was doomed for another season.
“Recall what happened in the 2019/2020 season. Man City was eyeing a treble. Three back-to-back seasons as champions, and a record in English football. But the adversaries knew the record that was to be set, so they arrayed themselves against the team.
“Just as some forces knew the record that was to be achieved by Muhammadu Buhari as Nigerian President; which he had begun to show since 2015 when he got into office, and they positioned against the government.’’
Still comparing Nigeria’s myriad challenges to the feat of the Arab-sponsored football club; Adesina stated that City and Nigeria faced the influence of centrifugal forces whom he described as ‘Aiye’ in the Yoruba language.
“Every team, big or small, strong or weak, set its sights on Man City last season; flexed muscles, summoned superhuman skills and strength whenever they were meeting the champions attempting a treble. The end result? Man City finished a distant second behind Liverpool, which had emerged like a thundering typhoon, to win the laurel in admirable fashion.
“The lesson? When you are high-flying, the centrifugal forces will come against you…It would only take the grace of God for you to attain. Yoruba people call those forces Aiye. When Aiye is on your case, as it was against Man City, and it is against the Buhari government, you need God, and God alone. Aiye (meaning ‘the world,’ if freely translated) is the negative part of mankind. The pernicious, baleful, sly and scheming part of humanity. If Aiye gets on your matter, you need God and God alone.
“Man City failed to make record last season. Because Aiye was there. Liverpool shot out like a bolt from the blues, and won the league for the first time after 30 years. It won new adherents to itself from different parts of the world. Buhari Amazon, Jewel Ifunaya Chika, was one of them. She simply ported from Manchester United, which she had been supporting for years, and pitched her tent with Liverpool. More about that team later.
“Man City failed to make record in 2019/2020 season. Aiye was in full force against it. And the 2020/2021 season was initially not looking promising either. Eight weeks gone, the team was placed 13th on the table. It had lost 2-5 to Leicester City at home in Etihad Stadium, Tottenham drubbed it by two goals, played draw with teams that couldn’t hold a candle to it in the past, and was generally forlorn and limp. Aiye was having a ball, laughing Man City to scorn.
“Aren’t they doing the same thing against the government in our country today; due to unrelenting security challenges, some of them possibly instigated by Aiye themselves?” Adesina queried.
Noting that City rose from the ashes to become champions, the Presidency aide predicted a similar feat for Nigeria under Buhari.
“The team beat Burnley by five goals to nothing, and it was the beginning of the turnaround. Victory came after victory, to the extent that the team was unbeaten in 21 consecutive games in the different competitions it was involved in. From the ashes, the Salamander had risen. Fire could not consume it, and today, Man City are champions, fifth time in 10 years.
“Who says Nigeria will not rise from its current travails? Who says Aiye will always win? Not where God is involved. And God is involved with Nigeria, our own dear native land. Under President Buhari, peace and security would be restored. The economy would rebound.
“Life would be abundant for the people…Aiye would be left standing small, holding the rump of the flag of a country it thought had gone into oblivion. The winner takes it all, the loser standing small (apologies ABBA).
“It was not glory ride for Man City all the way, however. It lost other crucial matches to Man U, newcomer Leeds United, and Chelsea. But did that alter the destiny for the season? No! Nigeria will also attain her destiny, and soon too. Amen, somebody.”
Nigeria is currently battling a worsening tide of insecurity aligned with an ailing economy that has only just rebounded from a second recession in five years.