Mixed reactions have trailed the selective hosting of heroic Super Falcons players. Some states have hosted only players of the team who are their indigenes. While some communication experts have condemned the selective hosting, arguing that it is a question on nationalism, others defended it saying the hosting is not out of order.
On the players’ return, days after their ouster from the competition after their exploits in Australia, representing Nigeria, where they were united in the pitch against their opponents, Osun and Abia states played host to the players from their states.
At the hosting in Osun, Governor, Ademola Adeleke said “This morning I received Osun State-born Nigeria Super Falcons players, Rasheedat Ajibade and Rofiat Imuran. I commended their efforts during their time in the tournament and restated our admin commitment to the growth of the girl-child and sport development in Osun State,” according to his Tweet handle as quoted by the media.
Similarly, Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State said, “Yesterday, I received our Super Falcons players from Abia State (Uchenna Kanu, Esther Okoronkwo, Christy Ucheibe, and Glory Ogbonna), who made their mark at the just concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The Abia Governor, according to media reports who commended the Falcons players for making Abia State and Nigeria proud through their wonderful outing, said they had become role models for youths in Abia and Nigeria at large.
Assessing the select hosting by the states, Akonte Ekine, a communication expert and CEO of Absolute PR said the development is a wrong signal to the younger generation and to Nigerians as a whole.
Akonte said the players were united in the pitch and played as a team. “Without any of the players, nobody will play as a team”, explaining that “none of us is better than all of us”
He challenged the Ministry of Information and National Orientation Agency should step up to preach the message of unity among states.
A band expert who prefers anonymity views the development where states are hosting indigenes of their states as a question on true nationalism quest. “These players played as a team, representing Nigeria and any hosting should have been in that spirit”, he said.
In his view, Desmond Esorougwe, Chief Editorial Officer of African Brands, said states hosting their indigene players is a serious challenge. According to him, this appears that the states are yet to embrace the symbol of national unity.
He said that states should see themselves as part of national enterprise instead of creating events that tend to deepen ethnic cause. He said the Super Falcons played as a team but separating them for hosting is not a good idea.
But in his assessment, Dare Ogunyombo, marketing communication expert does not see anything wrong in the states hosting their indigenes of the Super Falcons.
He said that the states want to identify with the success of the Super Falcons and their choice was to execute the idea through hosting players from their state.
Another commentator said “We cannot blame the governors for their actions because they stepped in to fill a void that was created by the NFF and also not having a cabinet in place.
“If the NFF and by extension the ministry of sports have a standardized programme in place for event of this nature, maybe states will not see reasons to celebrate their own. The governors played on the void created by the system”