The Federal Government’s presence will be missing today when burial rites for late former Super ...
The Federal Government’s presence will be missing today when burial rites for late former Super Eagles captain and head coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi begin in Benin City, Edo State.
This is sequel to reports that lack of funds has hampered plans by the federal government to give Keshi a heroic funeral and sources at the ministry of sports hinted that they even asked the late coach’s family to postpone the burial.
Rather than flow along with the family in going ahead with the burial this weekend, the federal government promised to play its own part for the late soccer icon after the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“We don’t want a haphazard burial for such a great patriot. That is why the Minister of Sports, Hon Solomon Dalung, has said the FG will play its own part after the Olympics. We will unveil details after the Games,” declared a ministry top official.
The Keshi family is however going ahead with the burial plans beginning with a Church Service on Thursday, July 28 at St’ Paul Catholic Church, Benin City by 9am.
After that the late ‘Big Boss’ as Keshi was fondly called in his playing and coaching days will be moved to Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, where a novelty match will be held in his honour.
The match is being organized by his former teammates led by Austin Eguavoen, who has also captained and coach the national team, and this will be followed by his body lying in state for numerous admirers to pay their last respect.
After that, attention moves to Asaba, Delta State capital, where his body will again lie in state at the Stadium named after him by former Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan on Nnebisi Road.
From Asaba, the body will leave for Illah, his homestead, where it will be received by the Obi of Illah, HRH Obi Gbemudu along with his high chiefs.
Keshi himself was a high chief of the Illah kingdom, where the body moves to St’ John, The Evangelist Catholic Church for a requiem mass.
Next port of call will be his home in Illah, where the body will again lie in state for an hour before internment at the same venue.
It is expected that there will be heavy presence of officials of the Edo and Delta State governments at this events heralding the glorious exit of a man who brought glory not only to the two states but the entire Nigerian nation and indeed Africa.