A former federal lawmaker from Kaduna state Senator Shehu Sani has advised that pensions be given to retired sports men and women in Nigeria.
Speaking in Ibadan on Wednesday at the memorial lecture organised to mark the tenth anniversary of the demise of Nigeria’s former National Team goalkeeper Late Best Ogedegbe by the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria Oyo State chapter in collaboration with the family of the legendary goalkeeper, Senator Sani noted with sadness that Nigeria don’t celebrate their sports heroes.
“Nigerians only care for their athletes when they are in active service. The moment they retired, we forget them”, the Senator said.
The radical politician, while commending the organisers of the memorial lecture, advised that the commemoration be made the annual event to immortalise late Best Ogedegbe.
Giving an emotional speech at the memorial lecture, a former mate of the late footballer who is also chief lecturer at the event Chief Segun Odegbami (MON) also lamented that most retired footballers in Nigeria, especially those residing in Oyo state are uncelebrated.
Reminiscing on the good times he shared with late Ogedegbe as footballers, Chief Odegbami described the late goalkeeper as the best role model for Nigerian goalkeepers.
“Best Ogedegbe was a confident footballer and so good that it was difficult for any player to score against him”, the retired striker nicknamed Mathematical Odegbami asserted.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman Sports Writers of Nigeria, Oyo State chapter Mr Niyi Alebiosu explained that the memorial lecture was put together to ensure that the feats of the legendary goalkeeper who was in goal when IICC Shooting Stars football club and Nigeria’s national team won their first major trophies, was not forgotten.
Other associates of the late goalkeeper who graced event like Dr Felix Owolabi Akinloye MON, Chief Zion Ogunfeyinmi, Mutiu Adepoju, Kehinde Jayefus recalled with nostalgia the heroic deeds of late Ogedegbe.
A former Commissioner for youths and sports in Oyo Mr Yomi Oke, a former Flying Eagles player Tajudeen Disunited and a former 400m Olympic Champion for the U.S Lee Evans were among the dignitaries who attended the memorial lecture.