President Muhammadu Buhari was on the phone early Sunday evening to Perth, Australia, felicitating with a Nigerian who has emerged World Scrabble Champion, the first ever from Africa.
Wellington Jighere, 36, defeated Lewis Mackay of Cambridge, England, by 448 points to 426 to win the championship which was competed for by 450 players from round the world.
“I called to rejoice with you over your performance. You have done the country proud, and we are very happy. Please, pass my congratulations to other members of Team Nigeria,” President Buhari told Jighere.
Jighere was delighted at the phone call from the President, and pledged to bring more glory to his fatherland.
The five other Nigerian representatives finished in the top 50 scrabble players in the world bracket.
Shortly after President Buhari got off the phone, news got to him that the Under-20 female football team, the Falconets, have qualified for the Women’s World Cup Tournament after beating the Basetsana of South Africa by a lone goal in an away game.
The Falconets had walked a tight rope after scraping just a 2-1 win over South Africa in Nigeria two weeks ago. With the away goal counting double rule, all that South Africa needed today was a single goal, but the Nigerian girls turned the table.
“This is a clear case of the indomitable Nigerian spirit. Such will soon be evident in all aspects of our national life,” President Buhari said.
– Femi Adesina