Nigerian football fraternities have been thrown into deep mourning on Tuesday, May 5, following the untimely death of ex Enugu state Football Association chairman Chidi Ofor Okenwa. Kwara state FA chairman Mallam Idris Musa confirmed the demise of his colleague.
Before his death, Chidi Ofor Okenwa, 50, was also the chairman of the Nigerian National League which is the second tie football in the country. ”With deep regret I announce the death of one of us who was the chairman of Enugu state FA, Chidi Ofor who passed away this morning. ”NFF president Amaju Pinnick is in touch with the family and I will keep you updated on further developments,” Idris Musa confirmed.
The Kwara FA chief who replaced Busari Ishola also added that he is sad because Chidi Ofor had good and many plans for football in his state and Nigeria. One of the plans known to the public is the fact that Chidi tried his best to make sure that the National League in Nigeria return to action after the break, even before issues of COVID-19 came in.
According to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Okenwa had been diagnosed as having leukemia and was said to have been restless throughout Monday night and slumped in the early hours of today before being rushed to a private hospital in Enugu, where he was confirmed dead. A devastated president of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, paid glowing tributes to Okenwa, who was part of a meeting of the NFF Executive Committee held via video conferencing penultimate Friday. It was that same day that Okenwa celebrated his 50th birthday.
“This is a huge shock. Each and everyone of us on the NFF Board is in absolute grief. Chidi (Okenwa) was a loyal soldier of Nigeria 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. “Brilliant, humble, eloquent, witty, thorough, and committed to the development of Nigeria Football at all levels, Hon. Okenwa evinced capacity, zeal and fervour, and gave his all for the good ending of any project or assignment in which he found himself,” Pinnick said.
The remains of the late Chidi Ofor Okenwa 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.