By Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The remains of departed former Super Eagles captain and Chief Coach, Stephen Okechukwu Keshi, are to be laid to rest in his hometown, Illah in Oshimili North Local Government Area of Delta State on July 29, 2016.
A member of the Keshi burial committee, Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, who revealed on Wednesday in Asaba that details of the burial arrangements had been made public, said the ceremonies shall hold between Thursday, July 28, and Sunday, July 31, 2016.
Ukah, said that the funeral for the late soccer hero would kick off in Edo State on Thursday, July 28, 2016 with a requiem mass at Saint Paul’s Catholic Church, Airport Road, Benin-City, from 9:00 am, followed by lying in state at Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, also in Benin-City, by 11:00am.
There will also be a novelty match by All Stars as well as a session of tributes in honour of the late soccer star at the stadium, he said.
“The same day, his remains will depart Benin-City for Asaba, Delta State, from 1:15pm“, Ukah noted. “On arrival, there will be lying in state ceremony at Stephen Keshi International Stadium, Indoor Hall, Asaba, from 3:15pm, followed by a novelty match by All Stars and Tributes at Stephen Keshi International Stadium, Asaba, from 3:30pm.”
The service of songs/vigil Mass will the same day hold at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Illah, by 6:00pm, according to the obsequies release.
On Friday, July 29, 2016 the body leaves Asaba for Illah by 7am, with a brief stopover at the Ogbelani Palace for traditional rites, the late Keshi being a traditional chief, by 8:00am. That will be followed shortly afterwards by lying in state at his family home, Ukpologwu Quarters, Illah, from 8:30am.
Also on Friday, Requiem Mass will take place at St John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Illah, by 10:00am; followed by interment at his family compound, Ukpologwu Quarters, Illah, from 12:30pm. Entertainment of guests will be at Omorka Primary School Playground by 12:30pm.
Nevertheless, the burial ceremonies are expected to be rounded off on Sunday, July 31, 2016 with a thanksgiving mass at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Illah, by 10:00am.
Meanwhile, as activities towards the funeral of the Nigerian football hero reach crucial stages, renovation work has intensified at the country home of the late footballer at Illah.
The one-time Green Eagles (Super Eagles) defender and captain died suddenly in Benin-City, Edo State, on June 8, 2016 aged 54 years.