Some Igbo leaders have called for support to honour late footballer, Sam Okwaraji, who died while performing a national assignment at the National Stadium in Lagos.
Newsmen report that the Imo Football Association (FA) and Okwaraji Foundation had proposed a national symposium and a documentary to honour late Okwaraji in November. Okwaraji died during a World Cup qualifier encounter between Nigeria and Angola in 1989.
The proposed event has gained national interest as prominent Nigerians have endorsed the programmed and also called for more support. Prof. Chico Odinkalu, a former Chairman of National Human Right Commission, said the plan to honor Okwaraji was a welcome development.
The human rights activist said Okwaraji merited the honour since he died while performing a national assignment. “I knew Okwaraji very closely before he died; we attended the same secondary school. I was in JSS1, while he was in JSS3.
“We used to call him Waskipele due to his enormous football talent,” he said. Odinkalu commended the leadership of Imo FA and Okwaraji Foundation for taking a bold step to honour the late Eagle’s attacker.
Dr Ezechi Chukwu, the President of Imo State Chapter of Ohaneze Ndigbo, a pan Igbo group, called on the National Assembly and South/East governors to identify with the event.
Chukwu said that the late Okwaraji had not been properly celebrated after sacrificing his life for the nation, stressing that this would be an opportunity to celebrate the late hero.
“I will take this massage to our NEC meeting to draw attention of our national leadership, but I call on South/east governors to equally mobilise their colleagues from other zones for this great event,” he said. Newsmen report that the Imo FA had mobilised all former Eagle players to honour the occasion.