Former Super Eagles midfielder Mutiu Adepoju has called for Samuel Okwaraji to be honoured with a public holiday for his services to Nigeria, SportLightNG reports.
Okwaraji tragically slumped and died while in action for the Nigerian national team during a World Cup qualifier against Angola at the National Stadium in Lagos on 12 August 1989, exactly 29 years ago today.
He was not just a brilliant midfielder who had played for clubs in Germany and Belgium, he also made huge sacrifices by insisting on playing for Nigeria against the wishes of his clubs.
“It is not a bad idea if August 12 is declared as public holiday to remember #SamuelOkwaraji who passed on to glory on this day in 1989. Keep resting legend 🙏😭😭😭😭#WeRememberOkwaraji,” Adepoju, who inherited Okwaraji’s No.8 shirt years later, tweeted on Sunday with crying emojis and an image that depicted a quote of Okwaraji defying his club.
The Nigeria Football Federation also paid tribute to Okwaraji, whose bust is at the entrance of the now dilapidated National Stadium.
We remember former Super Eagles midfielder #SamuelOkwaraji who passed on to glory on this day in 1989. He was such a patriot in the truest sense of the word. Keep resting Samuel Somtochukwu Okwaraji ( 19 May 1964 – 12 August 1989) #WeRememberOkwaraji,” the NFF tweeted.