The National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers( NANPF), has sent a ‘thank you’ message to Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun for his prompt intervention and roles to douse tension in the state on the aftermath of the unfortunate killing of Remo Stars footballer, Tiyamiu Kazeem by security officers.
The message contained in a statement signed by the General Secretary of NANPF, Comrade Austin Popo, it described the quick intervention and concern of the state governor on the matter as ‘fatherly’.
“We are delighted to note that the amiable Governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun after intervening to ensure that peace and justice prevail on the matter, also paid a condolence visit to the family home of the late player. That is, indeed, humane and very kind of him,” Popo stated.
“On behalf of the President of NANPF, Tijani Babangida, MON, the entire members of the union and particularly, the family of the deceased player, we also extend our heartfelt appreciation to the President of Remo Stars FC, Hon. Kunle Soname, for the supportive roles he has played so far on the matter,” he added.
The National Chairman of Nigeria Football Supporters Club, Rev. Samuel Ikpea has lamented the recent spate of deaths in the Nigerian football community.
Speaking with journalists in his office in Lagos, Ikpea, described the deaths of Remo Stars player, Tiyamiu Kazeem, who was killed by security officers and that of former Golden Eaglets assistant and Kano Pillars coach, Kabiru Baleria, who died Tuesday after a brief illness, as one death too many.
The boss of the foremost supporters club in Nigeria, while acknowledging that death is inevitable, however, admonished security officers and members of the public on the needs to be mindful on the safety of lives and properties.
” The NFSC regrets this spate of deaths. And we pray that God will grant the families and friends of the deceased, the strength and fortitude to bear these losses,” the businessman cum football enthusiast said.
” We agree that death is an inevitable end. However, lives shouldn’t be taken or lost carelessly. This period in our football life calls for prayers and sober reflections. May this dark clouds pass away, forever,” the clergyman intoned emotionally.
The National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballers (NANPF) has suspended its planned protest march slated for Abuja over the alleged killing of Remo Stars FC defender and vice captain, Tiyamiu Kazeem by security officers.
In a statement signed by the General Secretary of NANPF, Comrade Austin Popo, informing its state councils, NAC, members and the general public, it stated that the union reached the decision to temporarily suspend the protest march after due consultations with relevant bodies, as well as the compelling conditions of the matter.
The statement read; “Following preliminary dialogues between the leadership of the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers led by its President Tijani Babangida MON, and and SA to the NFF President on Security, Chikelue Iloenyosi, a trustee of the union, and C P Umar Garuba Baba (Interpol), S A to IG on Public Policy and Strategies, Jude Nwaukor, coupled with the public outcry on the killing of Kazeem, leading to the subsequent intervention of the Inspector General of Police, M A, Adamu and his timely instructions to the DIG (FCID) Anthony Ogbizi, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Kazeem, NANP’s President Babangida has requested for a temporary suspension of the planned Protest mass Rally scheduled to hold in Abuja on 2nd of March 2020.
It further reads; “It is important to note that part of the reasons the Union initiated the proposed mass protest rally, was to draw the attention of the IG due to the orchestrated plans by the Ogun State Police Command to cover the truth of the incidents that led to the unfortunate death of Kazeem.
“In view of this latest developments and coupled with the underground moves by some unscrupulous elements to hijack the planned rally, and of course, with its negative consequences of endangering the lives of our players, stakeholders and members of the public who had volunteered to be part of the Rally, the union had to take the best decision for now to temporally suspend the protest march, while still monitoring developments.”
Conclusively, the union acknowledges the unflinching commitments of its members, solidarity supports it has continued to enjoy by stakeholders in the football community, as well as members of the public, in its relentless efforts to engender a better life during and after active careers for Nigerian footballers, home and diaspora.
Today, 16th, October 2019, marks the third remembrance of the killing of former 3SC defender Izu Joseph, who was reportedly shot dead by officers of Nigeria Army, while on holidays in his hometown, in Rivers state. And members of the National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers ( NANPF), as well as the family of the late footballer are crying for justice.
Izu’s killing and other reported cases of wanton abuses and violations led the Federal government to set up a special panel to investigate these cases.
And expectedly the players’ union and the late footballer’s family lawyers submitted petitions to the special panel through the Attorney General and the National Human Rights Commission.
Speaking with the press, on the remembrance of the late footballer, Secretary-General of NANPF, Comrade Austin Popo, reiterated the demands of the union and the players family for the release of the report of the investigative panel on Izu Joseph.
“It is 3 years now. And we demand that the Federal government release the report of special panel and pronounce justice on the death of Izu Joseph.
“We also want the Nigeria Army to compensate the family for this wanton and unjustified killing of Izu Joseph in his prime. The late footballer was the bread winner of his family until he was killed, ” Popo stated unequivocally.
He added that the union will not rest until justice is done on the player’s killing. As he also restated the union’s unrelenting drive to give the welfare of Nigerian footballers paramount attention at all times.
The Nigeria Wrestling Federation (NWF) has expressed deep shock and regret following the demise of Coach John Edem, who died after a protracted illness on 24th May, 2019.
Until his death, late Edem was the head coach of the Cross River State Greco Roman team.
A dedicated athlete in his heydays, coach Edem won 4 national titles in the junior/intermediate class and 2 senior crowns in the 48kg category in the eighties.
Aside discovering several young athletes as a coach, late John Edem also trained former African Champion Emmanuel Nworie.
Speaking on behalf of the federation, Technical Director of NWF, Sir Damian Ohaike said: “We received the news of his death with deep shock.
“Coach Edem was very dedicated to the discovery and development of young talents. It’s a pity that he is no more. We will dearly miss him.
“I pray that God will grant his family and the entire sporting fraternity in Cross River State the fortitude to bear his loss.”
A devout Christian, Edem was married with children, and has since been buried in his hometown in Akpabuyo Local Government Area in Cross River State.
As a mark of honour for late John Edem, the Nigeria Wrestling Federation have agreed to observe a minute silence before the commencement of the 3rd Governor Dickson National Classics in Yenagoa later this month.
The Nigeria Basketball Federation under the leadership of Engr. Musa Kida has condoled with the family of Kunle Delano and Saratu Luga over the death of two of its key stakeholders in Nigeria basketball.
Delano died last month (April) at the age of 93 while Saratu Luga died in a tragic auto accident which left many sad and speechless.
In a personal message to the family of one of the pioneers of Nigeria basketball, Kida described the death of Delano as “plucking a distinctively bright star out of the sky at night leaving a feeling of lights out and a void that can never be filled”.
Delano was a star of the then Lagos Territory Team that won the first National Championship in 1964 before playing for Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) Amateur Basketball Club under Christopher Kolade who was then Director of the corporation, where he mentored the likes of Alabi Adelanwa, Ganiyu Otenigbagbe and others who later rose to stardom.
In his condolence message on behalf of the board Kida said, “We wish to express our deepest sympathy on the demise of an ICON in Nigeria Basketball and the entire family on the enormity of the loss and the resultant effect on the entire household at this time.”
Still unable to come to terms with the tragic loss, the NBBF President described the death of Saratu, a former player of AHIP of Kano and GT 2000 of Kaduna as one death too many.
“This particular death is really sad and difficult to comprehend. Losing a beloved personality in her prime has left many shattered. We are only being comforted by the good testimonies by all and sundry about her personality while on this side of existence.”
The late Delano was a member of the Nigeria Team to the African Championship in Fernando Po (now Equatorial Guinea) in 1960 as well as supporting the then Oba of Lagos, HRH, Oba Adeyinka Oyekan in establishing the Oba Oyekan Cup in 1966 before instituting his own Cup the same year.
Kida prayed the Lord to grant the souls of the former Vice Chairman of the then Nigeria Amateur Basketball Association (NABBA) and Saratu a peaceful rest.