By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The remains of late former chairman of the Nigeria National League, NNL, Hon.Chidi Ofo Okenwa was on Friday buried in his family compound , Ogonogo Eji Akpugo, Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu state amidst a torrent of tributes to the departed football administrator.
When news filtered in on the 5th of May, 2020 of the demise of the charismatic Okenwa, the football community in the country was thrown into shock. The plethora of reactions that trailed the sad news were clear testimonies of his sterling qualities while alive. That is why praises and kind words have continued to pour in torrents for the diligent and astute football administrator.
For instance, an member of the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Ibrahim Gusau who led a strong team of the Federation’s representatives to bid their fallen colleague farewell described late Okenwa as a hero and Football encyclopedia. In the words of Gusau, “His knowledge of the game is very vast; he carried every task assigned to him with a huge passion.”
“Chidi lived a good life and will forever be in our minds”, Gusau ended.
The South-East representative in the NFF, Mr. Felix Anyansi described Chidi as “a pace setter”. Anyansi said Chidi was innovative with his grassroots development agenda, a legacy he declared they will sustain in the region.
In his funeral otation, the Chief Operating Officer of the Nigeria National League, Mr. Lawrence Katken who worked with late Chidi at the second tier League said, his late boss was a true professional and an embodiment of hard work, which he exemplified.
Many others also poured encomiums on the late soccer icon.
The body of Chidi Ofo Okenwa was first presented to stakeholders at the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium, Enugu before the final journey to his country home, Akpugo where he was buried.
Hon. Chidi who died on the 5th of May, 2020 was married to Mrs. China Ofo Okenwa (nee Okafor) who stood by him until his death.
Some of those in attendance at his burial were sone executive committee members of the NFF – Alhaji Ahlan Inua Rabiu-Sheriff, Ahmed Fresh, Emmanuel Ibah, Suleiman Yahya Kwambe.
Also in attendance was the NFF Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme and staffers of the NFF and NNL.
Others were Nasarawa State FA Chairman, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali, his Plateau state counterpart, Sunday Longbam ,Amanze Uchegbulam and his vice Emmanuel Ochiagha of Imo FA and Sir Ephraim Chukwuemeka of Abia State FA ,Hon.Osaro Asemota of Edo State ,Umar Isah of Kogi State ,as well as Ngozj Eze of the FCT Football Association .
Former Nigerian internationals, Kanu Nwankwo, Chikelue Iloenyosi, President of the Nigeria Football Coaches Association Ladan Bosso,coach Gabriel Okon of Rivers Angels,Abia Comets FC President,Victor Nwakanma who is also Vice President of NNL Club and Managers Association,NALCOMA.