By ANDREW OJIEZEL
Trade Union Congress (TUC) has lamented the death of ex-International footballer and coach, Mr. Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi.
TUC in a statement by the President, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama stated that the union was touched by the sudden death of ex-International footballer and coach, Mr. Stephen Okechukwu Chinedu Keshi, “the only Nigerian coach to have won the Africa Cup of Nations, achieved a rare feat in 2013 by becoming only the second person to win the trophy both as a player and a coach. He died almost six months after his wife of 33 years left this sinful world. History will not forget the legend, patriot, great footballer, amiable father and husband who died suddenly in the early hours of Wednesday 8th June, 2016 in Benin City, Edo state.”
In his lamentation, Kaigama said “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? We are however thankful to the Almighty God for the joy and happiness Kechi and his team brought to millions of Nigerians whenever they came out victorious in any football competition. Our heartache occasioned by economic hardship was often overwhelmed and massaged by the victory songs which often ignited our hope and made us temporarily forgot our pains. He represented Nigeria well from 1982, at age 20, till 1994 and most of the time he captained the Super Eagles and scored vital goals from his position as a central defender. He also coached Togo and Nigeria at the World Cup, as well as Mali. Kechi came; he saw, conquered and left a mark on the sands of time.
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“This is sad news. But we shall all take solace in the fact that death comes at its appointed time, which no one knows. It is inevitable! Let the death of this legend be a lesson to discerning hearts. We brought nothing into the world and definitely we shall leave with nothing. We are pained by the death of the young man because of his immeasurable achievement in football, a sports that neither knows tribe nor religion. Sports speak only one language: shout of joy when you win and sadness when you lose!”
In addition, TUC stated that “For those of us that are alive, this is a clarion call to amend our ways, shun treasury looting and money laundry, invest resources judiciously instead of sponsoring terrorism, pipeline vandalism and militancy. Every Nigerian must turn to God and the country will be better for it. No one knows when the roll will be called.
“Adieu and rest on BIG BOSS!”