From Musa Muhammad Kutama, Calabar
As the centennial celebration of the late football icon was done in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, the eldest son of late Chief Etubom Orok Oyo, Mr. Orok Oyo has accused the Federal Government of abandoning his father who saw money but never stole public funds.
He disclosed this while speaking to our correspondent in Calabar in an interview.
He expressed worries as his father was abandoned despite his numerous contributions to the sector.
“You see in Nigeria, the more money you steal, the more hounour you get, and that is what my late father is suffering from, because he didn’t steal public money, so they have abandoned us,” he lamented.
He further lamented: “In 2019, a former Minister came to Calabar and promised that they are going to name a stadium after him, a football team, float an academy and today, the current Minister is not saying anything.
“He does not pick my calls, not replies to messages. That is Nigeria for you.”
He went on to add: “Ivory Coast gave my father the highest award in the land in 1982, but in Nigeria, it was in 2003 and guest what, they gave him MON.”
Chief Oyo expressed his displeasure why his late father, Mr. Football, as he was nicknamed, was abandoned because, according to him, he did not steal unlike looters who were being celebrated.
He said, the man who was popularly known as ‘Mr. Football’ would have been 100 years on last August 27, 2022, having been born on that date in the year 1922 and died in 2018.
One of Africa’s, nay the world’s most renowned football administrators, Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo served as Secretary-General of then Nigeria Football Association in 1958, and then between 1961 and 1963, and also between 1967 and 1971.
He then moved to the Confederation of African Football, where he served as member of the Executive Committee from 1974 to 1988.
Chief Etubom Oyo was also Nigeria’s first-ever member of the FIFA Executive Committee, and retired as Life Vice President of CAF.
He died on September 10, 2008.
“We are planning a glamour event to celebrate Etubom Oyo Orok Oyo, and the family is working with a number of friends and the NFF to make it a memorable occasion.
“On the day, we will be launching a book that is a compilation of all the writings and speeches of the late Etubom Oyo, and we will also be launching the O3 Foundation on the same day,” Chief Oyo, son of the late Etubom Oyo, said.
President of the NFF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick was expected to lead a strong NFF team that would also include the General Secretary, Dr. Muhammad Sanusi to Calabar for the historic event.
The centennial celebration took place at Presbyterian Church Duke Town and the main event at U. J. Esuene Stadium.