My jollof rice tastes much better than yours


There is no football match for Nigeria more important than any game against Ghana and that is how seriously Nigerians take their football. I guess there is also no football match for Ghana more important than a game against Nigeria.
Whether it is the Super Eagles, the women teams, junior teams or even ‘Canta ball’ the rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana is grand and we always want to triumph over them, just like, I believe they want to triumph over us (tufia kwa! As I snap my fingers on my right hand, turn it around my head five times and spit). That will never happen.
I do not know about players like Ola Aina, Joe Aribo, William Troost Ekong and the other foreign born players and what they know about the rivalry, but players like Ahmed Musa, Oghenekaro Etebo, and the others who started their football in Nigeria should know about enough to imbibe in the others the fact that we are going for war. It is football war.
From Ghana must go to Jollof derby
In the 80s, there used to be lots of Ghanaians in Nigeria. In fact a lot of jobs were taken over by them. They took over from the Indians as having best teachers in the country. They also had the best head-dressers too. I remember my mum had a salon then and it was a status symbol when you had a Ghanaian hair stylist working with you. They had their signature jerry cucrl hair do.
But suddenly, in 1983, when Alhaji Shehu Shagari was president of Nigeria, there was an order that all Ghanaians living in Nigeria without documentation had to leave or face arrest. The truth was that many of these foreigners had been attracted to Nigeria from the early 70s and with the economy weakening, it was bound to happen.
There were more than two million migrants deported from Nigeria and of these, more than one million were Ghanaian. These Ghanaians left hurriedly and they packed their belongings in cheap matted woven nylon zipped bags, either red and white or blue and white stripped, from thence known as ‘Ghana must go bags’
But Nigeria’s deportation of Ghanaians in 1983 could not have been the beginning of the off the pitch rivalry between both countries as a school of historians would say, what Shehu Shagari did was, maybe, a retaliation of what Ghana had done to Nigeria before.
In 1954, Ghana had deported loads of Nigerians who lived there without documentation and the 1983 action was seen by some as a retaliatory move.
However, in recent times, the rivalry between Nigeria and Ghana has sidestepped football to culinary issues, like, ‘who makes better jollof rice?’ or who has more accomplished musicians. A recent social media battle between Burna Boy and Shatta Wale is testament to this.
If you ask me, nothing beats Nigeria jollof rice, but again, the Ghanaians do not think so. Nothing also beats Nigerian music… Then again, the Ghanaians do not think so. Nothing beats Nigerian football and nothing beats Nigerian girls, but the Ghanaians would always argue. Therein lies the problem. And this problem must be settled once and for all on the pitch over two legs. Who ever wins this eternal clash, gets bragging rights on the pitch and in the kitchen too.
A history of the derby
Records show that Nigeria have met Ghana fifty six times in football and they have a better head to head record than we do. They have won twenty one times and lost to us only ten times. Eighteen of the games ended in draws.
Their 7-0 win over us on June 1, 1955 in the JALCO Cup remains their biggest victory over us. The first ever meeting between both sides was on October 16, 1950 in a friendly match that Ghana won 1-0. Note that this first game was four years before the Ghanaian government deported lots of Nigerians. In all of these, however, FIFA lists the first official game between both sides as the World Cup Qualifier in 1960. Ghana won 4-1 in Accra and drew 2-2 in Lagos.
The most memorable of the lot has to be in 1984 at the AFCON. Nigeria beat Ghana 2-1. Chibuzor Ehilegbu and Paul Okoku were an integral part of that team that also had the likes of Henry Nwosu, Muda Lawal, Humphrey Edobor, Stephen Keshi amongst others.
In 1992, Ghana ensured we did not play in the final of the AFCON, beating Nigeria 2-1 in one of the semi finals. This was after Mutui Adepoju scored a beauty of the goal for the Eagles.
In 2001, Nigeria had drawn Ghana 0-0 in the World Cup Qualifiers and then won the return leg 3-0 in Port Harcourt. In 2008, at the AFCON, Junior Agogo’s goal helped Ghana win 2-1 over Nigeria in the quarter finals after Yakubu Aiyegbeni had put Nigeria ahead.
Whose jollof rice is better?
This question will be answered over two legs. But as Akinbode Oguntuyi says, “If Nigeria must lose the first leg, it should not be by a two goal margin. We must win or draw, but a heavy loss will spell disaster,” Oguntuyi says.
The last time Nigeria beat Ghana was in 2006 at the AFCON and since then both sides have met four times, with Ghana winning three of them.
Records show that the Black Stars have been better than the Super Eagles on the pitch but all that must change from this weekend.
Nigeria play better football than Ghana, Nigeria have better jollof than Ghana, Nigeria make better music than Ghana and of course Nigerian girls are prettier than those from Ghana.
The Super Eagles must seal these affirmations with a resounding win over two legs as the perks are a trip to the World Cup, bragging rights and another ‘twitter dragging’ that Nigeria will win.
Clear the road for the Super Eagles.

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