P.M. News (Lagos)

8 July 2002

Nigeria: Area Boys Mob Okocha

Lagos — Super Eagles' captain, Austin Okocha, paid the price of super stardom last Saturday afternoon at Yaba when he and some of his teammates were mobbed by street urchins popularly called "Area Boys".

Okocha and his family had brought their new born baby boy for dedication at the Yaba Presbyterian Church, but the event which had begun on a quiet and peaceful note was almost marred by some area boys and agberos.

Pandemonium broke out when the retiring Super Eagles skipper was about to leave the church, which is just a stone throw from Yaba bus terminus as the area boys got wind that the flashy cars parked around belonged to Okocha and some of his teammates.

The area boys, not wanting to miss out golden opportunity to rake in money, trooped to the church en masse from their Yaba bus terminus base and positioned themselves at the gates of the church in anticipation of the departure of Okocha and his friends.

Eventually when they sighted the newly signed Bolton Wanderers midfielder, they swarmed the gates in an attempt to mob him (Okocha). The action of the social miscreants caused the player and some of his invited guests to be held up inside the church for several minutes.

However, the situation which almost degenerated into chaos as vehicles going through the Yaba bus terminus were held up, was later put under control through the intervention of some policemen. The policemen were able to disperse the area boys who retreated temporarily when they threatened to use their tear gas.

Nonetheless, the threat could not stop the area boys from swarming on Okocha's Mercedes Benz S-class (saloon) and the flashy cars of his guests as they made their way to the reception slated for an exclusive restaurant on Ozumba Mbadiwe Street at Victoria Island.

Some of the teammates of the former PSG of France's star who turned up for the dedication of his first son christened: Jedidiah Okechukwu Emmanuel Austin (Jr). included Arsenal FC star, Nwankwo Kanu, his brother, Ogbonna and POAK Salonika of Greece defender, Ifeanyi Udeze.

Former Super Eagles' assistant coach, Joe Erico and Okocha's bosom friend, Friday Nwankwo Kujah were in attendance at the ceremony.

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