The remains of the deceased three-time Secretary General of then Nigeria Football Association, Chief Philip Onuora Chikaodili Achebe, better known as POC Achebe, was laid to rest at the Achebe family compound in Ikenga Ogidi, Anambra State on Friday.
The five-day rites started with a wake-keep at the late Achebe’s residence in Enugu on Wednesday, followed by a service of songs at his Ogbotu, Ikenga Ogidi family compound on Thursday.
Burial on Friday was preceded by lying-in-state of the body at the family compound, while visitations by in-laws and well-wishers took place on Saturday.
Conspicuous at Friday’s church service were a strong delegation from the Nigeria Football Federation, as well as a squad of Enugu Rangers FC’s legends, who adorned the Saint Paul’s Anglican Church venue with colour and panache.
The NFF delegation was led by the 1st Vice President, Chief Mike Umeh and also included the Member of Executive Committee and Chairman of the Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama, Director of Technical, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme, Enugu State FA Chairman, Mr. Chidi Okenwa, Assistant Director (Media), Mr. Ademola Olajire and Special Assistant to General Secretary, Dr. Christian Emeruwa.
There were also Barrister Richard Nwabufor Obienu, a former Vice NFF
Vice President, Mr. Charles Ojugbana, a former NFF Head of International Department and 1980 Africa Cup of Nations -winning team captain Christian ‘Chairman’ Chukwu, who is also member of the NFF Technical Committee.
The Enugu Rangers FC legends were led by strong-as-nails defender Luke Okpala, and included ace playmaker Stanley Okoronkwo, defenders Jude
Agada and Mike Ogbodudu, Joseph Nwafor, Francis Nwosu, Amaechi Igweobi, Ernest Ufele, Festus Agu and Akeem Ashiru.
“We love him so dearly but God loves him more. Our prayer is that God will give him eternal rest and also give those he has left behind, and Nigeria football, the fortitude to bear the loss,” said Chief Umeh.
NFF chieftains and Rangers’ legends recalled the painstaking nature and boundless energy of the man POC Achebe, to the delight of the deceased’s sons and daughters, in-laws, friends, synpathisers and kinsmen.
The three-time Secretary General of Nigeria Football Federation died in Decatur, State of Georgia, United States of America on March 9, 2013 from prostate-cancer related illness.
– Sola Rogers (Twitter – @solarogers)
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