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30 years after, Ihedioha moves to immortalise Sam Okwaraji


The late Sam Okwaraji

Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha has promised to honour the late former Super Eagles’ midfielder, Samuel Okwaraji, 30 years after he slumped and died while playing an international match for Nigeria.

The late Okwaraji died on the pitch of play during an Italia 1990 World Cup qualifier against Angola at the National Stadium, Lagos on August 12, 1989.

Speaking whem members of the Samuel Okwaraji Foundation paid him a courtesy call in Owerri yesterday, Chairman, Imo state Sports Commission, Fan Ndubuoke said Governor Ihedioha had plans to immortalize the late patriot.

Ndubuoke said Governor Ihedioha was passionate about sports development, adding, “honouring the late Okwaraji will help in inspiring the younger generation of stars.”


He said, “I am glad to tell you of Imo government’s willingness to partner and support you in this very important event. The late Samuel Okwaraji was a patriot and one of Imo sons that made the state proud both at the national and international levels.

“I was a sports journalist with Champion Newspapers in 1989 when Okwaraji died. Now that I am in a position to play a role in honouring the late Eagles superstar, I will do my best to ensure that the programme is successful.”

In his reaction, former Super Eagles Captain, Henry Nwosu decried the inability of the Federal Government to honour the late Okwaraji and lauded Imo government for endorsing the project.

“I was the Super Eagles’ captain when Okwaraji came into the national team and since his untimely death in Lagos, the Federal Government has not done much to honour him or to take care of his family.

“Ex Eagles players are all behind the project, we have endorsed it and also call on stakeholders in the country to do same in honour of our late hero,” he said.

Earlier in his remark, President of the NGO and elder brother to the late midfield maestro, Mr. Patrick Okwaraji disclosed that part of the activities lined up for the 30 years memorial was a launching of a documentary on the late Okwaraji’s “short but eventful life time, titled, Patriotism, Education and Soccer.”

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