By Amaechi Agbo
The Nigeria National League, NNL has expressed as rude shock the death of the chairman of the league management, Chidi Ofo Okenwa.
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” in the country.
Also expressing his grief, the Chief Operating officer of NNL, Lawrence Katken who was visibly devastated by the news of his death prayed the Almighty God to forgive his shortcomings 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 adding that 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 participated in 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.
Ofor -Okenwa who until his death was a member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)Executive Committee, died in his Enugu residence (Independence Layout) Tuesday morning after losing the battle against acute leukemia
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 nation’s 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 with funding challenges.