This Day (Lagos)

11 January 2013

Nigeria: Abdullahi, NFF, NOC, Others Mourn Ositelu

The sports community was thrown into mourning mood Thursday following the news of the death of veteran sports journalist, Ayo Ositelu on Wednesday night.

Ositelu was reported to have died three months to his 70th birthday while watching the Nigeria, Cape Verde international friendly on television.

The Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Thursday described the sudden death of Ositelu as a great loss to both the media and sports sector.

The Minister said he was shocked and saddened by the unexpected demise of the veteran journalist who contributed greatly to sports development in Nigeria through excellent articles and opinions.

He recalled that Ositelu was very active in the media and sports circuits over the years and was a great advocate of the game of tennis, which he promoted through his column in The Guardian.

Similarly, the Nigeria Football Federation Thursday expressed deep grief over the death of Ositelu.

Chairman of the NFF Media and Publicity Committee, Chief Emeka Inyama said: "The NFF is shocked to receive news of the passing of one of the best sports journalists and commentators that this country has ever produced, Deacon Ayo Ositelu. He was a marvel in his area and did his job with painstaking attention to details."

The Nigeria Olympic Committee also expressed deep shock at the death of Ositelu.

President of the NOC, Sani Ndanusa, who also doubles as the president of Nigerian Tennis Federation (NTF), a sport that Ositelu loved and wrote glowingly at The Guardian, broke down in tears.

"What! Was he ill? Are you sure that he's really dead?" was all that Ndanusa thundered on telephone on hearing the sad news of Ositelu's passage Thursday.

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