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Little Known Ibrahim Sangare Outshines CAF and Nigerian Institutions at Afcon 2023

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The local organising committee of Afcon 2023 has also reduced the transport services it provides to journalists

Ibrahim Sangare, an Ivorien-Nigeria based in Abidjan came to the rescue of over 100 Nigerian journalists covering the AFCON 2023, after hearing about their plight in the course of delivering coverage of competition.

Journalists covering the Afcon 2023 had been abandoned by CAF or left in the middle of nowhere with transportation logistics. CAF and the Local organising committee had stopped ferrying journalists for matches outside Abidjan since the freak accident that occurred in the first attempt during the group stage, as journalists who went to cover the Senegal vs Guinea group stage match from Abidjan to Yarmosoukro, got involved in a freak accident that injured four persons while returning to Abidjan on the two-hour ride.

This meant every journalist who wanted to cover any game as the competition entered knockout rounds had to do that by themselves, in a competition that is particularly expensive for most Nigerian journalists due to the weakness of the Nigerian naira against the FCFA (SEFA) of Côte d’Ivoire.

On hearing about this development, Ibrahim Sangare reached out to Paris-based Nigerian journalist Ojora Babatunde that he was going to sponsor the transportation of Nigerian journalists interested in travelling to Bouaké to cover the Nigeria vs. South Africa semifinal match. The match was Nigeria's first and only match outside Abidjan since the competition started with the 3rd place final and grand finale slated for Abidjan.

He bought about 150 return tickets from a transport company which ferried Nigeria journalists and some members of the supporters club to and from Bouaké for the semifinal match.

Everyone converged at the Main Media Centre in Treichville at 7 am on match day as two big luxury buses with alternate drivers were on the ground to do the work.

People were returned to the same venue at 2 am, safely, with no single issues as the match ended late after getting to penalties. It was indeed a good ride on the day.

Ibrahim Sangare's only reason for doing it is his patriotism for Nigeria, with one of his parents from the country, loving Nigeria's football and the players. He is particularly a devoted fan of Victor Osihmen. He has also created a mini fan club for Victor Osihmen in Abidjan due to his love for the current African footballer of the year.

On the contrary, the Nigerian embassy in Côte d’Ivoire is nowhere to be seen in action during the Africa Cup of Nations. Even though the embassy house is sitting right in front of the Felix Houphouet Boigny stadium in Abidjan, not once had the embassy attempted to welcome Nigerian journalists who came to cover the competition nor take inventory, neither has it been helpful.

Efforts made to even interview the ambassador have proved abortive as she had told people close to her that she doesn't want to talk to the press. The embassy probably gives attention to politicians. Several politicians and government officials have visited Côte d’Ivoire for the Afcon.

The local organising committee of Afcon 2023 has also reduced the transport services it provides to journalists since the start of the knockout round.

Just like Ibrahim Sangare, the late businessman, Mr Nwoye Angus who died watching Nigeria vs. South Africa match in the stadium had been very helpful and philanthropically committed to everything Nigeria- he  once stated that if the Super Eagles had any issues in Côte d’Ivoire, he doesn't mind selling his properties or and moving out of his residence to accommodate the Nigeria National team.


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