Home » Super Eagles Poised for Victory at AFCON 2024, Says Nigerian Community Leader in Cote d’Ivoire

Super Eagles Poised for Victory at AFCON 2024, Says Nigerian Community Leader in Cote d’Ivoire

Chief Michael Emeka Onwuchelu Highlights Support for Super Eagles, Raises Alarm on Human Trafficking

by Oluwatosin Racheal Alabi

The President of the Nigerian community in Cote d’Ivoire, Chief Michael Emeka Onwuchelu, has expressed confidence in the Super Eagles’ chances at the 2024 African Cup of Nations (AFCON). Onwuchelu, who also appealed to Nigerian President Bola Tinubu regarding human trafficking issues, revealed that preparations are underway to support Nigerians travelling to Abidjan for the tournament.

“We’ve set up a ‘Nigeria village’ in Abidjan, where our compatriots can enjoy Nigerian cuisine and culture, fostering unity and mutual support,” said Onwuchelu. This initiative is part of a broader effort to mobilize support for West African teams at the tournament, in collaboration with the Western Africa States Association.

However, Onwuchelu’s concerns extend beyond football. He highlighted the plight of Nigerian minor girls suffering from human trafficking in Cote d’Ivoire, orchestrated by Nigerian agents. Urging the Nigerian government for immediate intervention, he stressed the urgency of addressing this issue to protect the future of young Nigerians.

“Many Nigerians are in Abidjan prisons, often due to misinformation by those who brought them here under false pretenses,” Onwuchelu explained. He noted that from May 2021 to December 2023, the Nigerian community had repatriated 730 girls to Nigeria, including 13 minors in December 2023 alone.

Onwuchelu called on the Nigerian government to use the occasion of AFCON 2024 to engage with Ivorian authorities to assist Nigerians unjustly imprisoned. He emphasized the importance of government involvement in rescuing citizens and highlighted the need for Nigerians to be cautious about misleading job advertisements.

In a related development, Davidson Ogbu Tabel, a spokesperson for the Nigerian community, urged President Tinubu to include the Nigerian diaspora in Cote d’Ivoire in the country’s annual budget, considering the challenges they face, including human trafficking.

Onwuchelu’s statements reflect the community’s dual focus on supporting the Super Eagles at AFCON 2024 and addressing critical social issues affecting Nigerians in Cote d’Ivoire.

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