Two Nigerian Professional League players have been confirmed dead in the last 72 hours.
What has been a difficult year for Nigerian football is ending on a tragic note with the demise of some promising scenes in the country.
First, it was the death of former Enyimba, Sunshine Stars and Nasarawa United striker Chinedu Udechukwu that rocked the sports fraternity on Wednesday.
Since then, the sad news of the death of former Kano Pillars star Ebuka Odenigbo filtered in early Saturday morning.
Sources close to the deceased said the striker died on Friday after what was described as a brief illness.
For Udechukwu, PREMIUM TIMES gathered that Joseko died at his base after complaining of a headache.
His former clubs, teammates among others, have expressed their sorrow for the player’s death.
Chinedu featured in the NPFL with Nasarawa United last season but his contract has expired at the end of the last campaign.
Eche Amos, the media officer of Nasarawa United in an official statement paid glowing tributes to Chinedu, praying for the repose of his soul.
“Edu, as he was affectionately called, was a young man full of life and big dreams. He was also a fantastic figure in club football in Nigeria, playing for Enyimba FC in Aba which won the CAF Champions League twice; Katsina United FC and Akure’s Sunshine Stars FC.
“As we pray for the repose of his soul in heaven, we send our deepest condolences to his family, his loved ones, teams and fellow players, the Nigeria Football Federation and the country’s football fraternity,” he wrote.
Enyimba FC chairman Felix Anyansi Agwu also expressed shock at the news of Udechukwu’s death,
He said: “He’s very lucky. It’s a very bitter pill to swallow, especially in times like this. It seems like yesterday when he helped us win the league in Lagos. I remember how he cheered with the rest of the team inside the Lagos stadium the night we won the league. It’s so painful to hear such a strong young man that he is no longer alive. May he rest in peace.
“This unfortunate news breaks my heart; and on behalf of all of Enyimba, I wish to convey my deepest condolences to his family, friends and the entire Nigerian football community”.
For Odenigbo, Pillars also called his death shocking.
The club wrote on their Twitter handle: “We are shocked to hear the death of our former player @EbukaDavid24. Ebuka was a talented young footballer with great potential.
We were shocked by the death of our former player @EbukaDavid24. Ebuka was a talented young footballer with great potential.
On behalf of the current President, Alh. To Ibrahim Galadima, and the entire Sai Masu Gida family, our condolences to his family😢🙏 pic.twitter.com/GTQSkJYb4F
— Kano Pillars FC (@pillarsfc) December 24, 2022
“On behalf of the President of the Government, Alh. Ibrahim Galadima, and to the entire Sai Masu Gida family, our condolences to his family.”
Odenigbo was impressive throughout his stay with the Sai Masu Guide from 2018 until the end of last season.
Odenigbo joined Kano Pillars after emerging as MVP in the Higher Institutions Football League (HiFL).
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