NFF Mourns Ma Okwaraji

Mrs Jane Okwaraji, the mother of former Nigeria international midfielder, Samuel Okwaraji is dead 

The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed its sadness at the passing away of Madam Okwaraji after the family notified the football governing body of the matriarch’s demise.

Mrs Okwaraji, retired school teacher, reportedly died on Saturday, 23rd May 2020, at the age of 83 after a brief illness.

NFF, through its General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, expressed the deep pain of the body and the Nigerian football family on the death of Mrs Janet Okwaraji.

“We are deeply pained to receive this notice of the passing of Mrs Okwaraji, ” Sanusi said as quoted on the NFF’s website.

“Only last month, we resolved to appreciate and support the noble gesture of the Hon. Minister by providing a further N30,000 monthly stipend to the mothers of Samuel (Okwaraji) and Rashidi (Yekini). It is sad that Mrs Okwaraji had to leave us at this time.

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“However, our joy is that she lived to a relatively ripe age, and left good memories of herself through her good works.

“We can never forget that she gave Nigeria a dedicated, diligent, excellent and patriotic football player who, unfortunately, died at a rather young age while serving the nation.

“We pray earnestly for God to grant her soul eternal rest and also give those she has left behind the fortitude to bear the loss.”

Mrs Okwaraji was the mother of Samuel Okwaraji who played as a midfielder in the 80s for the Nigeria national team. A talented, skillful footballer, Okwaraji represented the Green Eagles 8 times, scoring once.

But his dreams of featuring for Nigeria at the 1990 FIFA World Cup was shattered when he collapsed and died on the field of play during a qualifying match between Nigeria and Angola at the National Stadium, Lagos on Saturday, 12th August 1989.

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He was just 25 years old at the time.

Almost 31 years after that tragic incidence, his mother will be buried in a simple burial ceremony in accordance with the COVID-19 pandemic final rites protocols in Enugu State in about three weeks. A bigger ceremony, according to the family, will hold after the pandemic experience