Imo State Government said that it woud partner with Sam Okwaraji Foundation to honour the late Samuel Okwaraji as part of event lined up for his 30 years memorial.
The Chairman, Imo State Sports Commission, Mr Fan Ndubuoke, disclosed this on Monday when members of the Foundation paid him a courtesy visit to solicit for endorsement of Imo State Government to honour the late footballer.
Recall that Okwaraji, ex Super Eagle’s midfielder, slumped and died on August 12, 1989 during a World Cup qualifier against Angola at the National Stadium in Lagos.
Speaking on behalf of Imo government, Ndubuoke said, “I am glad to tell you of Imo government’s willingness to partner and support you in this very important event. Late Samuel Okwaraji was a patriot and one of the Imo sons that made the state proud both at the national and international level.”
Recalling that he was a sports journalist in 1989 when Okwaraji died, he added, “Now that I am in a position to play a role in honoring the late Eagles’ super star, I will do my best to ensure that the programme is successful.”
He said Governor Emeka Ihedioha was passionate about sports development, adding that any honour done to the late Okwaraji would inspire the younger generation.
He described the late Okwaraji as an exceptional person who combined education with his football career and excelled in both endeavours.
In his reaction, former Super Eagles captain Henry Nwosu lauded the Imo State Government for endorsing the project, saying, “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 calling on stakeholders in the country to do same in honour of our late hero,” he said.
Earlier in his remark, the President of the Foundation, Mr Patrick Okwaraji, said the organisation was soliciting the support of the Imo State Government to honour the Imo-born legend.
The title of the documentary, according to the foundation’s leader, is “Patriotism, Education and Soccer.”
Among ex-Eagles’ player who endorsed the project, it was gathered, were Uche Okechukwu, Peter Rufai and Etim Esin.