By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE House of Representatives yesterday mandated the Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, to immediately pay the entitlements due to the families of the late two National Coaches, Stephen Keshi and Shuaibu Amodu so as to cushion any pains and financial pressures their death would cause the families.
The House also called on the Federal Government to immortalise “these outstanding football icons who had served the country selflessly, so as to encourage the younger ones to always give their best for the development of he country.”
The House in a consolidated motion sponsored by Rep Samuel Onuigbo representing Ikwuano, Umuahia North/South Federal Constituency of Abia State, on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Comrade Philip Shaibu representing Etsako Federal Constituency of Edo State, on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, also told Chris Giwa to give peace a chance and allow Amaju Pinnick to finish his tenure as NFF president.
Rep Onuigbo in his motion noted that late Keshi and Mahmoad EL-Gohary, an Egyptian were the only Africans that had won the Nations Cup both as players and coaches with Keshi winning it in 1994 as a player and in 2013 as a coach, adding that the late national coach was an international gaffer, having coached Togo and Mali national teams.
The lawmaker further noted that late Amodu was the national coach on four different occasions during which the team, Super Eagles, won Bronze medals twice at the AFCON (African Cup of Nations) in Mali 2002 and Angola 2010. He also qualified the Super Eagles on two occasions for the FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan 2002 and South Africa 2010.
The Abia State born lawmaker who reminded the House that Amodu was the NFF Technical Director until his demise, noted with dismay that going by information, the late Amodu was being owed arrears of salaries running into many months and was allegedly being owed by Edo State Government, having worked as Director of the State Youth Football Development Agency, a position he resigned from last year.
“These iconic Nigerians who exercised leadership in football administration and impacted positively on the nation and the world in ways that their outstanding accomplishments brought happiness to Nigerians even in the periods of economic and political adversities died at a time like this when football as a sport enjoyed by Nigerians is taking a nose dive,” Onuigbo stated.
In his motion, Rep Shaibu canvassed that the Federal Government and the NFF should set up a monument to be named after Coaches Amodu and Keshi and that Jersey No. 4 should be retired for Keshi as a mark of respect.
The House presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara urged the Federal Government to give scholarship to the children of the late coaches as a sign of respect towards their contribution to Nigerian Football.
Shaibu told Chris Giwa to give peace a chance in his bid to achieve his aspiration as the NFF president and wait till the next election when the current president Amaju Pinnick must have served out his tenure.