Wale Ajimotokan and Tobi Soniyi in Abuja, Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja and Demola Ojo
Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, was among many personalities who sent condolences to the family of former Super Eagles coach, Shuaibu Amodu, who died on Saturday morning. Osinbajo said the nation was shocked by Shaibu’s death.
He said: ”Coming just four days after the death of former player and coach, Stephen Keshi, Nigeria has lost yet another dedicated public servant who worked tirelessly to bring honour to our country. He led the national team to two World Cup tournaments and answered the call to serve as national coach on a number of occasions.
“Indeed his life was dedicated to finding and grooming some of Nigeria’s best soccer talents and providing them the leadership and guidance that enabled them to excel.
“Shuaibu Amodu’s work as National Coach of Nigeria’s national team brought gladness to the nation and fulfillment to many. His legacy is secured in the memories of Nigerians who will forever recall the exploits his teams recorded across the African continent and around the world.
“His dutiful service spanned many years and our country is grateful for his selflessness and immense contributions. Though the nation is pained at his death, we take solace in the joyful memories he left behind.”
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State described the demise of Amodu as a great loss to the Nigerian football community, referring to the ex-Super Eagles coach as a football genius who contributed immensely to the development of football not only in Nigeria, but Africa as a whole.
.”Few days after losing the ‘Big Boss’ Keshi to the cold hands of death, we are again dazed by the demise of a football genius with unblinking commitment to the growth of the round leather game in Nigeria and Africa.
“In his hey days as both a professional footballer and coach, the late Amodu displayed unparalleled professionalism, defending the integrity and excellence of the Nigerian colours with unmatched candour and desire. His death is a blow to the football family around the world.”
Governor Bello described the late Amodu as a cool-headed, intelligent and goal-getting tactician who never got the high credit commensurate with his great contributions to the development of Nigerian football.
His words: “As a recurring decimal in Nigerian football for decades, his judgements, commitment and hunger for success was never in doubt. The people of Kogi State wish to commiserate with the family of the deceased, the people and Government of Edo State as well as the Nigerian Football Federation which the late tactician served as Technical Director until his death.”
Also, former Senate President, Senator David Mark has lamented the sudden death of Amodu. Senator Mark stated: “It’s devastating to hear that Amodu Shuaibu passed on to the great beyond. We were struggling to come to terms with the death of Stephen Keshi only to be confronted with yet another blow.
“Unarguably, Amodu was one of our best football handlers both at the club level and continental assignments. Over time, he demonstrated unwavering commitment and love for country. He was a great patriot in the real sense of the word.
“He was always handy even at very critical moments. Honestly, Nigeria has lost one of her best and fertile minds in football administration. We shall miss his frank and professional disposition. We have lost a reliable and dependable administrator.”
Senator Mark urged the NFF to immortalize Amodu in recognition and appreciation of his contributions to development of sports especially soccer in Nigeria.
Meanwhile NFF president Amaju Pinnick remarked: “This is another tragedy too many. We are still talking about Keshi’s death, and now Amodu is gone. I’m short of words.”
Amodu was approached to replace Sunday Oliseh earlier this year as Super Eagles coach but declined on health grounds, according to the country’s football authority.
Oliseh who worked under Amodu as a player and coach tweeted: “Waking up to another devastating horrible news: Amodu Shuaibu, former coach of Nigeria is proclaimed dead! First Keshi and now this. God help us!”