The former Director-General, defunct National Sports Commission, Alhassan Yakmut, has described the late former Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, as a national hero whose feat could not be matched soon.
Yakmut made the assertion in his tribute to the late football icon while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on his death on Wednesday in Lagos.
He said that Keshi’s death was a sad development to the football family and sports at large both at home and abroad.
“The demise of Stephen Keshi is one of the sad developments in recent time, especially when we have people like Mohammed Ali who just passed on.
“Be that as it may, he was a national symbol as far as football in Nigeria is concerned; his death is a blow to Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“He loves Nigeria a lot. This further confirms that this world is not really our home, we are just passing by. I pray for the repose of his
soul,’’ Yakmut said.
He added that Keshi was hardworking as testified to by what he achieved by winning the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in South Africa in 2013.
“I started working with him since 1981 at the National Sport Festival when I was just one year old in the sports ministry. He has paid his
dues at all levels.
“I have worked with him in all capacities; as a national player, a coach and also met him as a grassroots player in schools sports.
“He won AFCON as a player and a coach,’’ said Yakmut whi is the current Director of Special duties, Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
“He was the only Nigerian player to achieve the feat and second in Africa.
“We just lost a national hero at a very critical time of our technical development in football.’’
Yakmut also said that he would personally miss Stephen Keshi, because of his close relationship with him.
“It was after he left the Nigerian Football Federation that I warned the body on removal of national coaches. I said hiring and firing of
coaches must be with decorum.
“I grieve with the immediate family and also pray for God’s support and the fortitude to bear their loss.
“Adieu to the `Boss’ adieu to Keshi,’’ he said.