8th June, 2016
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has commiserated with the family of the late former Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, saying his excellent leadership skills remained unparalleled.
Saraki in statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, on Wednesday in Abuja said Keshi’s death came at a time when the nation needed his rich experience in sports.
It said that Saraki lauded his contributions to football development, his doggedness and exemplary contributions that saw the nation clinching international trophies as a player and as a coach.
“His days, while donning the national colours and his stint as a national coach of the Super Eagles should be regarded as `Nigeria’s golden moments’ in national and world soccer.
“Keshi lost his wife late last year and today we heard the sad news of his demise. This must be a heavy burden for the family to bear.
“His death at 54 is both a shock and highly unfortunate.
“We take solace in the fact that he did his best for the development of sports in Nigeria, Africa and the world during his sojourn on earth.
“He was instrumental to superlative victories by the national team,’’ the statement quoted Saraki as saying.
“It will be recalled that the `Big Boss’ as he was fondly called, made history by winning the African Nation’s Cup as a player in Tunisia 1994.
“In South Africa 2013, he won it again as a coach. He was perhaps the only Nigerian to have achieved that feat.
“He was a great source of inspiration to his contemporaries, teammates and the younger generation who took to football and are still active in sports across the world today.’’
The senate president, it said, commiserated with the children and immediate family of the deceased, the Government and people of Delta State over the painful loss of a rare gem.
It added that Saraki commiserated with the Minister of Youths and Sports, the nation’s football governing body and the Super Eagles.
He prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest, while urging his children, loved ones and admirers to emulate his enviable lifestyle and patriotism.
Saraki called on the Federal and Delta State Governments to immortalise him.