The brother of the late Sam Okwaraji, an ex-Super Eagles attacker, Pat Okwaraji, has said that the Nigerian government had not proven that the country was worth dying for by its heroes.
Okwaraji, who spoke during the opening of Sam Okwaraji Memorial Football Competition at the Sam Okwaraji Stadium, Orlu in Imo, said Nigerian heroes who died for the nation, including his brother, were not properly honoured by the government.
Sam slumped and died in 1989 during a World Cup qualifier against Angola in Lagos.
But the family of the late player decided to break the silence after 26 years the incident happened.
He said, “We did not expect the Nigerian government to give Okwaraji’s family gold and silver.
“What we expected from the country is to immortalise our son who died for the nation.”
He added that his brother who was pursuing his doctorate in law as at the time he died was forgotten after his death.
He said, “Nigeria should learn how to inspire young talents by celebrating them. When heroes are celebrated and immortalised, it will go a long way to inspire young talents.”
He, however, commended the sponsor of the competition, adding that it was a big honour to the entire family.
He said, “We are happy that our son is being honoured and remembered through this competition; I want to encourage athletes to see it as an opportunity to excel in their career.”
The competition is organised by Okey Eze, an APGA governorship aspirant in the 2015 general election in Imo.