Several prominent football stakeholders had so much to say on the late Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former Secretary-General of the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA), as final burial rites for him began.
The football stakeholders paid their tribute on Wednesday in Ibadan at a symposium organised by the Western Nigeria Football Forum (WNFF) in honour of the former Nigeria international and football administrator.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the symposium had the theme “Celebrating the Life and Times of Taiwo Ogunjobi’’.
It was part of the ongoing burial activities lined up in honour of the late Ogunjobi.
Seyi Akinwunmi, NFF’s First Vice-President, described late the late Ogunjobi as a man of great virtue who contributed immensely to the growth of football in the country.
He said Ogunjobi’s achievements were numerous as a former player and skipper of the defunct IICC Shooting Stars Football Club, and a former player of the then Green Eagles.
“Ogunjobi was a great man who should be immortalised because of his contributions to the nation’s development in football,’’ Akinwunmi said of Ogunjobi, who was Chairman of Osun Football Association.
Adegboye Onigbinde, a former FIFA/CAF Instructor, said the late Ogunjobi had played his part very well, and called on everyone to always do good wherever they found themselves.
Onigbinde, who counseled all to embrace godliness, prayed to God to keep the late Ogunjobi’s soul in perfect peace.
Gbolagade Busari, the Board Chairman of Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC), said Ogunjobi was his hero, adding that he played a vital role in his return to the Ibadan-based football club.
Busari said Ogunjobi’s death was not a loss to only his family and 3SC, but a great loss to the country’s football family.
Rafiu Ladipo, President-General of Nigeria Supporters Club, described the late Ogunjobi as a man who was never ready to compromise the truth.
Ladipo, who said the country’s unity relied largely on football, called for the immortalisation of Ogunjobi for his immeasurable contributions to 3SC and football in Nigeria.
Bolaji Ojo-Oba, a former General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), and Mohammed Sanusi who presently occupies that position, described Ogunjobi as an unassuming person.
“He was a peacemaker and bridge-builder,’’ Ojo-Oba said.
The duo urged other stakeholders to emulate Ogunjobi’s virtues, and promised that they would ensure that his legacies lived on.
Amanze Uchegbulam, Chairman of the Imo Football Association (FA), said the late Ogunjobi was his closest football friend in the country, disclosing that he was yet to recover from his demise.
“Ogunjobi occupied several positions to have an impact on his society. He is the first Chairman of Chairmen in Nigeria. He was very prayerful,’’ he said.
Felix Owolabi, an ex-international, said there were so many reasons to celebrate the late Ogunjobi, whom he said contributed immensely to the nation’s football growth.
NAN reports that the event was attended by Dominic Omeya, a former NFA Chairman, Fanny Amun, a former NFA Secretary-General, and Ibrahim Gusau, the Chairman of State FA Chairmen.
Also in attendance were ex-internationals such as Mutiu Adepoju, Ike Shorunmu and Dimeji Lawal, as well as some of the deceased’s children, Lanre, Deji and Omowunmi.
NAN reports that a candlelight procession was held after the symposium.