NNL Grieves As Chidi Ofor Okenwa Passes On
By Niyi Busari
Reactions have being pouring in , following the sudden demise of the chairman of the Nigeria National League (NNL), Chidi Ofor- Okenwa, aged fifty years.
Ofor -Okenwa who until his death was a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee, died in his Enugu residence(Independence Layout) this morning after losing the battle against a yet to be confirmed ailment.
The former chairman Enugu State Football Association, who hails from Obinagu Uno Ogonogo Eji Ndiuno, in Akpugo Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, South East Nigeria, also served in the Aminu Maigari led NFF board.
He will be remembered for his role in securing corporate sponsorship for the nations second tier League ,with Betnaija as the title sponsors.
The gains of that sponsorship however, diminished when Betnaija pulled out of the deal and the NNL grappled for funding .
Reacting to his death NNL Vice Chairman Nasir Mohammed described the late Okenwa as a colleague, a true friend and team player;who was dogged, fearless and a very good listener.
Nosiru added that Okenwa brought a lot of his experience in football administration to the management of the NNL, the Most Important League .
And Chief Operating officer of NNL, Lawrence Katken was visibly devastated by the news of his death and was short of words . He however, prayed the Almighty God to forgive his short comings and grant his soul eternal rest.
President of the NNL Club owners, Abdul Sule was also shocked to hear the sad news. Sule, who is the President of Kogi United Football Club,described late Okenwa as a great guy that would be missed dearly.
His kinsman and former Commissioner for sports in Enugu State,Barrister Ray Nnaji said Okenwa’s death is painful,highly regrettably, and unexpected.
Nnaji recalled that in 2005 while as commissioner in Enugu State ,he brought Okenwa into Football administration in the state and Nigeria at large,and he never disappointed.
In an earlier tribute NFF President Amaju Pinnick described him as a loyal soldier and member of the NFF intellectual wing ,who can be relied upon to deliver goals of project assigned to him.
Chidi Ofor-Okenwa aka-‘Oyinatu-mba’ (The cold that envelopes a community), ironically was part last Friday’s NFF Executive Committee virtual meeting, during which he marked his 50th birthday anniversary.
Others who paid tribute to the late Okenwa are Alloy Chukwuemeka of ABS FC,Layi Adesiyan of Osun United ,general manager of of Kwara United Baahir Badwiy ,boss of Niger Tornadoes, Adamu Aliyu and many more.