•. The Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara
The House of Representatives has enjoined the authorities to immortalise late Stephen Okechukwu Keshi and Amodu Shuaibu who passed on recently.
At the plenary presided by speaker Yakubu Dogara, the lawmakers maintained that there was the need to immortalise them in view of their selfless services to the country.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Mr Samuel Onuigbo (PDP, Abia), they also justified the call saying it was based on the need to encourage the younger ones to always give their best for the development of the country.
The lawmakers who observed a minute silence in honour of the deceased thereby mandated its Committee on Sports to liaise with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to ensure immediate payment of all entitlements due to them so as to cushion any pains and financial pressures on their respective families.
Onuigbo, who recalled how late Stephen Keshi meritoriously served the country as a player and captain of the Super Eagles, remarked that it is unfortunate that the nation lost its best hands in football administration.
He also described Amodu Shuaibu as a dedicated and patriotic Nigerian who never failed to answer the call of his nation as he took the responsibility of coaching the super Eagles 6 times both on the substantive and temporary basis.
Onuigbo said Amodu was one local coach who qualified the nation for the FIFA world cup twice only to be replaced by other coaches who ended up disappointing.
“These two iconic Nigerians served the country meritoriously as coaches and now their demise is not only a huge loss to Nigeria and their families but to the international community as well as we can understand the pains both families and Nigerians are currently going through.
“Nigerians and the international community as a whole have lost the experiences of these patriots and heroes of football, whose services have been lost forever”, he said.
Onuigbo expressed worries about an information that Amodu was being owed arrears of salaries running into many months and was equally being owed by the Edo State Government, having worked as the Director of the State Youth Football. Development Agency, a position from which he resigned only last year.
Contributing to the motion, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (PDP, Abia) said: “The way we treat our national heroes in Nigeria is a sad commentary. Nigeria should wake up and stop playing politics with the lives of our professionals.”
She lamented the shoddy treatment meted out to Keshi after he led the national team to win the nation’s cup and then qualified for the world cup, saying; “but he was later sacked unceremoniously as if somebody who never made sacrifices for his country”.
Hon. Philip Shuaibu (PC, Edo) urged the House to use this period of mourning to reorganise the nation’s football administration, calling on the warring factions in the NFF thread carefully and avoid incurring the wrath of Nigerians.
“Chris Giwa and Amaju Pinnick should know that before their lay claims to the leadership of the football house, there are those who have laid down their lives for this country through football”, he stressed.
He added that a monument must be built in their memories to serve as a mark of honour to them and their families.
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