Keshi: State Burial Committee To Document Life History

Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung has charged the National Committee for the State Funeral of the late Super Eagles Coach and Captain Stephen Okechukwu Keshi to document the life history of the football legend as a reference for the younger generation.

The Minister gave the charge when he inaugurated the Committee on Friday in Abuja.

On the occasion, Barrister Dalung empowered the members to plan and ensure a befitting burial for the football legend.

“This event is significant because apart from formally flagging off the burial ceremonies, it also signals government’s commitment under President Muhammadu Buhari to honour its sporting heroes both living and dead.

“No sacrifice for this country will go unrewarded. When someone dies in this country, his history is forgotten. I don’t want this committee to allow this to happen.

“In writing the history of Keshi, it should be well documented. The essence of this committee is to try to bring the complete life record of Keshi for people to study.

“It is not for us to change it. We want it written the way he was. We want the young ones to know Keshi as he was and study his life and times. There are people who will be inspired reading about what he did. His contributions as a player, captain and coach should be well documented because they all have different contributions to help in the development of young people”, Dalung said.

The minister charged the committee to mobilize those who can contribute to a successful funeral and to contact all friends of Keshi to contribute in whatever way they deem fit.

“The Federal government is not financially buoyant at this time but we must do our best to make this funeral a success. The task before you is to ensure the active participation of as many sectors as possible in the actual funeral ceremonies”.
Chairman of the committee and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa who was represented by the Director, Network and social Mobilization, Mr Abdulrazak Salau formally accepted their nominations on behalf of the committee members and pledged to work towards a befitting burial for the late Super Eagles Coach.

Keshi’s elder brother and member of the committee Ambassador Joe Keshi thanked the federal government for constituting the committee to kick start the preparations for the late captain.

“In constituting this committee and accepting also to be involved, we are not just giving honour to whom honour is due but also showing who we are as a people and as a nation who appreciate those who have done well for this country and pay them their due respect even in death.

“The family members are very grateful and appreciative and hope that this committee will give a befitting burial to our late hero. In doing this, we are also encouraging other people, particularly the young ones to understand that if they serve this country, at the appropriate time, this country will also recognize them”, Ambassador Keshi said.

The committee has since been split into five sub-committees including Finance, Media and Documentation, Ceremonial and Protocol, Security and Transport & Logistics.

They have been empowered to co-opt well meaning Nigerians who can identify and contribute to the success of the state funeral.

Late Stephen Keshi is expected to be laid in-state in Abuja on 27 July, 2016. He will also be taken to Benin for lying-in-state on 28 July, 2016 and interred in his home town Illah, Delta state on 29 July, 2016.
He died on 8 June, 2016 following a heart related ailment.

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