Minister places Okawaraji’s mother on monthly salary
Sends cash, food items to late midfielders’ family
Barely one week after lifting the mother of the late Super Eagles striker, Rashidi Yekini, with cash and other material gifts, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare has extended the gesture to the family of late national team star, Samuel Okwaraji.
Samuel Okwaraji died in 1989 while playing for Nigeria in a 1990 World Cup qualifier against Angola in Lagos.
Since then, apart from former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, no other government official has seen the need to check on the welfare of the family the former midfielder left behind while playing for the country.
At the weekend, Dare, who was represented by Mr. Bamidele Ajayi, visited late Okwaraji’s mother, Madam Janet Okwaraji at her home in Abakpa Nike, Enugu, where he donated cash gift of N50, 000 and food items to the family.
The other items included rice, semovita and beverages.
The Minister explained that the gesture was to help Madam Okwaraji in her old age as a mark of honour for the contribution of the former Dinamo Zagreb forward to Nigerian football.
“I have always been drawn to greatness and I admire people who live their lives to elevate the status of their community and nation.
“Okwaraji was not just a footballer, he was an icon and great patriot. He was a great professional, who redefined football in Nigeria with many young talents benefiting from his ingenuity and sacrifices by re-writing our country’s name in gold in world football.”
Responding on behalf of the family, the eldest son of the Okwarajis, Mr. Patrick Okwaraji regretted that their mother was slightly indisposed hence she could not receive the Minister’s representative.
He expressed the family’s appreciation for the kind gesture, adding, “Sam died almost 30 years ago and everybody would appreciate if they feel he is worthy to be remembered and appreciated for the little contributions he made even when he died in his prime.
“I thank the minister for deeming it worthy to do this. It is very encouraging that this is the first and only minister to support the family. We are indeed very grateful. I honestly don’t know what to say other than to say the family appreciates this show of commitment to us, which is long overdue.”
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