BY JOE APU
The die is cast and the Nigeria Premier Football League title is there for the taking for Rangers International of Enugu if they can manage a win over visiting El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium today.
Support for the team has come from different people including that of the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who has charged the Rangers to shun any form of complacence and go for the jugular of the El-Kanemi Warriors on this last day of their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) title campaign this season.
The Deputy Senate President stated this in his goodwill message to the Flying Antelopes of Enugu ahead of their season’s decider at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, today.
Senator Ekweremadu said while the odds, no doubt, favoured Rangers, the team must go all out to achieve an emphatic victory and win the league on a high note.
“I want to commend Rangers International for coming this far, ready to break what appears like a 32-year jinx despite the challenges. I urge the team to go all out to not only win the league title, but also to do so on a resounding note by drubbing the El-Kanemi Warriors”.
The Deputy President of the Senate assured the team of not only his total support and those of the government and good people of Enugu State, but also the people of the entire South East and South-South regions, recalling that Rangers had always lifted the spirit of the people at the most challenging times.
He added: “To the people of South East and South South regions, Rangers is more than a football team. They are an inspiration, a morale booster, and something of unspeakable pride. Rangers represent the history and mass movement of a people seeking to survive and re-launch them to national reckoning in the aftermath of a devastating civil war”.
Meanwhile, Rivers United of Port-Harcourt are praying fervently for Rangers to slip against El-kanemi and they win at home against Akwa United of Uyo to emerge the league winners. The stakes are high as Rivers United will be hoping for an improbable combination of results to emerge champions.
The ‘Pride of Rivers’ will have to pull off what they have not managed since May 8 in Warri – win an away game – if they are to tear the form books to shreds (bookmakers have since handed the title to the current leaders, Enugu Rangers.
Rivers United will also have to score their first goal (s) on the road since May to stand any chance of toppling Rangers at the summit of the standings.
The permutations will however come to nought if Rangers as much as avoid defeat (they are overwhelming favourites to secure a big victory) against El Kanemi Warriors in their final league game of the season in Enugu on Sunday, a fact not lost on the Rivers United technical manager, Stanley Eguma.