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Since August 12, 1989 just few persons in the sporting fraternity still share the feeling of mourning a hero who passed on while serving his fatherland, talking about Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji….or the feeling that he was not honoured as expected.
The authorities running sports careless about a dead man after all, many had gone before and after him….so what makes him special? This is the question they ask few of us who still feel that Okwaraji deserves better than he was treated.
We remind them that he did not only die while playing for Green Eagles….He was always answering national calls when and once he is invited….and he did this promptly. On several occasions he footed his bills to Green Eagles camp….by paying his air fares. Others who died before and after him didn’t die the way he did. They didn’t die in active service!
Yes, he is that patriotic….and for someone like that to die in active service, he deserves to be immortalized. Perhaps immortalising Okwaraji is only a memory in the minds of his teammates especially those on the pitch on that fateful day…..and may be the few Nigerians that felt his heroic performance for our beloved country on and off the field of play…
In all, we may play politics with Okwaraji’s death, we may fail to immortalize him, we may fail to honour him….and we may make him a piece of history….but his voice keeps haunting us particularly the sports authorities who feel he should be forgotten.
You can bury Okwaraji but his history remains a memory!