Lagos - Indications have emerged that unless the Presidency intervenes,
the planned burial date of late soccer icon, Stephen Keshi may not hold as
scheduled due to lack of funds.
News24 had reported that the burial has been fixed by the
Federal Government for July 27, 28 and 29, with a committee headed by the
Permanent Secretary in the Youth and Sports Ministry already put in place for
According to former media officer of the Super Eagles who
also worked with Keshi at the Nigeria’s senior national team, Ben Alaiya, It
has now come to light that the committee has not been able to function because
there are no funds for their meetings let alone burial proper.
Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, who is battling to get the
funds for the Rio Olympics out for Team Nigeria to travel later this week is
said to be at a loss over how to ask the Presidency for the Keshi burial fund,
which is in the region of N30million.
Also read: Late Keshi's children arrive in Nigeria for burial
Sources within the committee say the Minister is worried,
especially as Nigerians will not take it lightly if Keshi is not given a
befitting burial. “But, this is an extra-budgetary matter and we have to be
patient with the Presidency,” a source hinted Alaiya.
“Having captained the national team for nearly 15 years,
winning the Nations Cup as captain and coach, Keshi deserves a hero’s burial
and the Federal Government will do it but funds have been hindering us,”
another committee member hinted.
Keshi was also an Ambassador of Sports for Nigeria before
his sudden passage.
In setting up the burial committee, Dalung had said the
government want to accord Keshi a heroic burial so as to send a message home to
today’s youths that if they serve Nigeria well in any endeavour the nation will
never forget them and will reward them bountifully even in death.
News24 had reported
that the Sport Minster will head the burial committee for the late Keshi.
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- News24 Nigeria