A member of the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation and Chairman of the Nigeria National League, Chidi Ofo Okenwa, is dead.
Okenwa, who is also the Chairman of the Enugu State Football Association, died on Tuesday at the age of 50.
He had been diagnosed with leukemia and was said to have been restless throughout the night and slumped in the early hours before being rushed to a private hospital in Enugu, where he was confirmed dead.
A devastated President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mr Amaju Pinnick, paid glowing tributes to Okenwa, who was part of a meeting of the NFF Executive Committee held via video conferencing penultimate Friday.
Okenwa had also turned 50 years on the same day.
“This is a huge shock,” said the NFF chief who added, “Each and every one of us on the NFF Board is in absolute grief.
“Chidi (Okenwa) was a loyal soldier of Nigerian Football and was a leading member of our intellectual wing. This is a terrible blow. He was one man you can always rely on to give candid advice.”
“We bounced ideas off him regularly and picked his brain on many issues because of his wide knowledge and decades of experience in football administration. We will sorely miss him,” Pinnick concluded.
Brilliant, humble, eloquent, witty, thorough, and committed to the development of Nigeria Football at all levels, Okenwa evinced capacity, zeal, and fervour, and gave his all for the good ending of any project or assignment in which he found himself.
The remains of the late national league chief have been deposited in a mortuary in the city of Enugu and the NFF is in contact with his family with regards to a decision on the date of the final burial rites.