By Daniel Edu
Senator John Owan Enoh, the Minister of Sports Development, has strongly condemned the online attacks directed at Super Eagles and Fulham’s midfielder, Alex Iwobi, following Nigeria’s 1-2 loss in the final of the 2023 AFCON against Ivory Coast on Sunday.
Enoh, who returned with the Super Eagles from Abidjan, held a discussion with Iwobi and assured him that the Ministry would continue to protect Nigerian sportsmen and women who represent the nation at major tournaments worldwide.
In a statement from Enoh’s special adviser, media, Diana Mary Nsan, the minister expressed concern about the online bullying of athletes, stating, “I am aware of what is happening on social media, and as a Ministry, this isn’t the first time we are going to make a statement against bullying, not just you, but our sportsmen and women in general who are exposed to bullying due to the outcome of competitions. We are concerned about how our sportsmen and women are treated. For me, I have taken myself out of social media after yesterday’s game.”
The cyberbullying against Iwobi, triggered by Nigeria’s loss in the AFCON 2023 final, led the player to exit social media.
However, the minister offered encouragement to Iwobi, stating, “You did your best for your country, and I am proud of you. The leadership and the rest of the country are proud of you. Those who are not are in the far minority and do not speak for the rest of our country, so just be strong. You did your best; you are part of a team that brought home a silver medal, which the country last won at AFCON 2000, which is 23 years ago. You put in your best; thank you very much.”