- Samuel Okwaraji's mother Janet has pleaded with FG to honour him
- The midfielder collapsed and died during a match between Nigeria and Angola in 1989
- Thirty years after, his mother has called on the federal government to immortalize him
Samuel Okwaraji's mother, Janet, has called on the federal government and other relevant authorities not to forget the service her son rendered to the country, The Guardian reports.
Mrs Okwaraji also appealed that her son should be immortalized to encourage others to serve their nation selflessly.
Speaking at her residence in Enugu on Mother's Day, she lamented that nothing has been done since Samuel slumped and died during a World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola at the National Stadium, Lagos, on August 12, 1989.
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She stressed that her late son "excelled as a young boy and combined study with football to the point of pursuing a doctorate degree programme in Germany before the unfortunate incident that claimed his life.”
Mrs Okwaraji said she decided to open a school in memory of her late son after nothing was done by the government.
Rev. Fr. Frankline Muo who led a non-governmental organization group, The Compassionate Heart to Mrs Okwaraji's house, appealed to the government to yield to her call.
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“Sam would have celebrated his mother on mother’s day if he were alive.
”He added that though his stay on earth was short-lived. He left indelible footmarks.
“I am appealing to the government and all and sundry not to abandon his family. Sam left his base overseas to play for the country 30 years ago and died while doing this national assignment.
“Since his death, nothing has happened to show to reciprocate this gesture. He was not doing it for money because, he came each time he was invited to play and return to base. So we believe that the greatest love we can show to him is to immortalize him,” he said.
The elder brother of Sam, Sir Patrick Okwaraji, said the issue of his late younger brother should have been addressed long before now.
Patrick said he was among spectators during the match against Angola match where Sam collapsed and died, stressing that it was something that Nigerians should learn from the development.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Ahmed Musa has been named as the Nigerian Player of the Year at the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) football awards staged at the Eko Hotels & Suites on Monday, April 1.
The 26-year-old striker beat Arsenal forward Alex Iwobi and Shanghai Greenland Shenhua star Odion Ighalo to win the award.
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