Government institutions might have forgotten or chosen to be silent about but Nigerians remember Samuel Okwaraji on the 30th anniversary of his death.
Okwaraji, a brilliant footballer and holder of a Masters in International Law from the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome, collapsed and died at the age of 25 in the 77th minute of a World Cup qualification match against Angola at the Lagos National Stadium on 12 August 1989.
Born on May 19, 1964 in Orlu, Imo State, Nigeria, the cause of the death of the gifted midfielder who played for Dinamo Zagreb and Vfb Stuggart during his short lived career, was later discovered to be congestive heart failure.
“Remembering Samuel Okwaraji 30 years after his sudden death while playing for Nigeria …rest on our hero” was the way @Greg20151221 put it.
On his own, @PalmerTega wrote: “Collapsed while playing a WC qualifier for Nigeria and died on his way to the hospital 30 years ago. I never saw the enigmatic midfielder play but I heard a lot of stories about the law student (studying in Rome) who was a hero to many. RIP Samuel Okwaraji ” while @mecurialone weighed in with: “Long live samuel okwaraji 🇳🇬🇳🇬”.
@sundayezzy wrote: “Today makes it 30 years we Samuel Okwaraji who died at the National Stadium, Surulere on the 12th August 1989, during a World qualifier against Angola. We lost a soldier who died on the battle field. We lost an icon with so much potential.”
@kennethemejuru wrote: “Remembering Super Eagles legend, Samuel Okwaraji.
Samuel Okwaraji was a Nigerian football star who died 30 years ago in Lagos while playing for his country. He was 25 when he lost his life and Samuel was said to be the only child of his parents. #Rest_in_Peace” among others.