By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN CITY – THE family of late former coach of the Super Eagles, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi yesterday said they will ensure that a proper autopsy is conducted to ascertain the cause of death of the former Eagles Defender.
Meanwhile, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state expressed shocked over the sudden date of Keshi, describing it as a great loss to the nation. This comes as sympathizers, family members and friends of the late former coach thronged the venue of the hospital (Faith Arena) where the late football icon’s body was rushed to after he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The former Eagles Coach had lost his wife Kate last years after a prolonged battle with cancer. Keshi’s inlaw, Ricky Aburime, said he died after complaining of pains in his legs.
He narrated that late Keshi’s nephew Ebuka who was with him had “massaged him on the leg and after that his countenance changed and that was when we rushed him to hospital. One hour after that massage his Nephew who was with him said his countenance change and showed sign of depression and he complained that he didnt like the way he was feeling and called Ebuka his Nephew and they rushed him to Faith Mediplex along Airport road”
“But unfortunately he was brought in dead before he arrive the hospital. This happened between 11:30pm to 12.00pm. The doctor confirmed that Stephen was dead after doing their check-up. Since he wasn’t a patient in the hospital, protocol would not allow them to write any report or give a death certificate.
“They said we should go and get the Police which we did and they inspected the body and took the picture before they took him to the mortuary. For better preservation we are moving his body to Stella Obasanjo hospital. We will still do a proper press conference as it is befitting his personality.
“We are not embalming now until the experts come and do the proper toxicology on the body. At that point, we lay everything to rest. We don’t want to speculate because we are not medical experts only proper autopsy can tell the actual cause of death. He never showed any sign of ailment”.
Meanwhile, Oshiomhole in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Peter Okhiria, described the death of Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, former Captain and Coach of the Super Eagles as a great loss to the nation and to Edo State where he was resident.
The Governor described the late Stephen Keshi, fondly called the ‘Big Boss’, as a thoroughbred professional, complete gentleman, a good citizen who impacted positively on his immediate environment where he lived a quiet life.
Oshiomhole said: “On behalf of the Government and People of Edo State, I join millions of Nigerians and other sports lovers worldwide to condole with my brother, the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, on the sudden death of this illustrious son of the state.
“He was a thoroughbred professional, a complete gentleman and a good citizen of Edo State where he lived quietly and peaceably with his neighbours before he gave in to the cold hands of death. His death is most painful not only to football lovers but to those whose lives he impacted positively.
Similarly, the Edo State Football Association lamented the death of Keshi saying it is a black day for football in the country.
In a statement signed by its chairman, Frank IIaboya, “Keshi is someone that we all love, we all know him as the ‘Big Boss’. He is one player and coach that is respected and will be missed.
“He was very unique. As a captain, he was very exceptional. As a coach, he was the only one that has won the Nations Cup as a player and as a coach. It is a big vacuum in Nigeria, Delta and Edo States.
“It is a vacuum in the football community. We thought that he was going to do more and more for Nigeria. But today, we cannot question God. What do we do? We pray that his soul rests in perfect peace” he stated.