.The Peter Ijeh Column Pays Last Respect To Ex-Eagles Coach –
My own tribute to the late Amodu Shuaibu is to say a big thank you to him for all that he did for me during his lifetime.
Although, you have gone to join your ancestors, but you still and will continue to live in my heart. The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.
Often, we underestimate the power of closeness or touch, smile, kind words, listening ears, honest compliments or the smallest act of caring, all of which may turn someone’s life around. Coach Amodu was one of such that turned my life around.
For many who did not know, Amodu was the first coach to invite me to national camp. He capped me even when he didn’t know me from anywhere. He heard about me that I was banging in goals while I was playing for Nitel Football Club of Lagos and later Julius Berger Football Club also based in Lagos; (Adewale Bridge Boys).
Coach Amodu took me straight to the Eagles camp and guess what he told me after my first and second training in the Super Eagles camp? Amodu said to me; ‘Peter! Your striking prowess is unique, and it is different, I like it… After that session and against all odds, I was capped and thus I made my debut for Nigeria.
However, some nice people we may have known could be those who have tasted the harsh sides of life such as defeat, suffering, struggle, loss, but still found their ways out of such depths. In other words, such persons always have the mind to appreciate, they are sensitive and very understanding in terms of life’s struggles, especially as it affects those they really care for.
Amodu was very caring and I won’t forget his kind words, in fact, they are written in gold and placed on top of my heart and the words are yielding positively in my life already. Your teaching is grooming me to become a better person, affecting my attitude and style of life.
His influence helped me improve in my game. Back in 2002 when I was far away in the Scandinavia territory, then playing in the Swedish Premier League, I emerged the Highest Goal Scorer (All time scorer till date) with 24 goals in 23 appearances. I made Amodu proud and did not disappoint him.
One important thing in life is to be brave, it will never go out of fashion. Ah! Nigerians will never forget Coach Amodu. Interestingly, people will lose someone they can’t live without, and it’s normal they have broken hearts as a result of unexpected or sudden death, that’s the way we all feel about Amodu’s death.
It is difficult to get over the loss of beloved ones, but all is not lost as they will live in our broken hearts forever.
Let’s honestly ask ourselves, which person means so much to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice or solution to our problems, but rather decides to share in our pains. They sooth us by touching our wounds with warm and tender hands. The friend who goes through quiet moment with us or when in despair, who can stay with us during our moment of grief or when bereaved. The person who can tolerate and helps us each time when we face some terrible challenges of life, that’s a friend, a brother who cares. The late Amodu had all of these during his lifetime.
Let me digress a bit and send some words of advise to you bloggers and writers, whenever you feel like criticizing anyone, just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantage that you’ve or once had. It may be yours today but may be it will be someone else’s chance tomorrow. Hope you are all fair to our late heroes and heroines in your respective media.
The late Amodu sent me a congratulatory message when he heard that I have acquired my UEFA Coaching Badge, I say a big ‘Thank You’ to him. Truth is that I’m on the lookout to exploring Scandinavian soccer culture and his advise will always guide me through my coaching career.
Coach Amodu’s passing is one death too many in Nigerian football. The Nation was still in deep mourning over the shocking passing of late Coach Stephen Keshi when the news came three days after that Amodu has also gone to join his creator.
Adieu Coach Amodu and rest in peace.
Coach Peter Ijeh
Uefa grade A Coach