*Gets monthly allowance
By Ben Alozie
Honourable Minister of Sports and Youth Development has lifted the spirit of Janet Okwaraji, mother of fallen Super Eagles star, Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji with cash gifts and food items.
According to a release signed by the Media Office of the Ministry of Sports and Youth Development on Sunday, was to assist the mother in her old age as a mark of honour for the contribution of the former Dinamo Zagreb forward to Nigerian football which remains indelible years after his death.
This came after several years of neglects and abandonment as a result of the demise of her son Samuel Okwaraji who died while playing for Nigeria.
The Minister who was represented by Bamidele Ajayi at the home of the late Eagles star in Abakpa-Nike in Enugu state donated various foodstuff and provisions as well as cash gift of N50,000.
The other items donated include; rice, Semovita and beverages.
The Minister explained that the gesture was to assist the mother in her old age as a mark of honour for the contribution of the former Dinamo Zagreb forward to Nigerian football which remains indelible years after his death.
“I have always been drawn to greatness and I admire people who live their lives to elevate the status of their community and nation. Okwaraji was not just a footballer; he was an icon and great patriot.
“He was a great professional who redefined football in Nigeria with many young talents benefiting from his ingenuity and sacrifices by re-writing our country name in gold in world football”.
Responding on behalf of the family, the eldest son of the Okwarajis, Mr. Patrick Okwaraji regretted that though their mother was slightly indisposed hence could not receive the Minister’s representative, he expressed the family appreciation for the kind gesture.
Mr. Patrick Okwaraji said he lacked the words to describe the gesture from a serving Minister to lend support to the family after several past attempts have failed.
“Sam died almost 30 years ago, everybody would appreciate if they feel he is worthy to be remembered and appreciated for the little contributions he made even when he died in his prime.
“I thank the Minister for deeming it worthy to do this. It is very encouraging that this is the first and only Minister to support the family. We are indeed very grateful. I honestly dont know what to say other than to say the family appreciate this show of commitment to us which is long overdue,” said Patrick.
Okwaraji, who was born on 19 May 1964 died on August 12th 1989 during a World Cup qualification match against Angola at the National Stadium , Surulere, Lagos.