By Femi Adefioye, Lagos with agency reports
The first son of late Nigeria captain and coach Stephen Keshi has expressed bewilderment that certain persons have been putting a date forward for his fatherâ€™s burial rites without the knowledge and consent of his children.
Stephen Keshi Jnr, 27, arrived at the NFF Secretariat on Wednesday morning and met with the General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi. He was in company with US â€“based chemist and friend of late Keshi, Victor Ugoh and former Super Eaglesâ€™ star Victor Obinna Nsofor.
â€œI just came into Nigeria on Tuesday night, and we read in the papers today that somebody has fixed a date for the burial. I am shocked like my sisters and my brothers. Since our father died, nobody has spoken to us about how he died, and we have not even seen his corpse. Yet, someone is fixing a date for his burial!â€
Thenff.com was reliably informed that Keshiâ€™s daughter, Ifeyinwa and husband, who are based in North Carolina, USA also flew into Nigeria on Tuesday.
Keshi Jnr, an events producer in Atlanta, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, the National Assembly, the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Nigeria Football Federation, the governments of Edo and Delta States, ex â€“internationals and countless corporate bodies and individuals for all the kind words showered on his father since he passed on.
â€œI cannot thank everyone enough. We have only heard good and great words about our father since his death. I am going to Benin City now. The family will sit down and come up with a date for the funeral, but we also appreciate that he was a national figure and will harmonize our plans with that of the Government and the NFF.
â€œOur father was a loving family man and we will miss him greatly. Our joy is that he left a worthy legacy for Nigeria football and for his family.â€
Meanwhile, the executive council of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, FCT chapter, on Wednesday paid a condolence visit to the NFF on the deaths of Keshi and Amodu.
Led by the chairman, Mr. Kayode Adeniyi, the body expressed deep grief over the passing of the highly successful coaches, saying this period calls for sober reflection.
In his response, NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, reflected that Nigeria has lost two great men whose watchwords were hardwork, dedication, diligence and forthrightness.
The Gambia Football Federation, in a letter signed by its president Lamine Kaba Bajo, wrote on the death of Amodu: â€œThis sad incident which came a few days after the passing away of another Nigerian and African football icon and legend, Stephen Keshi has no doubt increased the sorrow and sadness not only in the NFF and Nigeria but African football family as a whole.â€