For Amodu Shaibu: A Sendoff as Tribute
By John Mayaki
Ex-Super Eagles Coach, Amodu Shaibu was laid to rest Saturday in his hometown in Okpella, Edo State – his life honored in moving eulogies by Muslim faithful, fans, and tearful kins – all expressions about him did something to me; knocked some sense into me about my relationship with my Creator, my fellow human and why I must follow peace with all men.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole, Hon Clem Agba, Kassim Afegbua, Austin Braimoh, Victor Oshioke – all who knew him personally – spoke stirringly to an audience still smarting from the shock of his demise – the cry that broke out spontaneously across the country.
But here is the vanity – and simplicity – made obvious by the Muslim rite – rather than help our illustrious son’s departure with a Great Cherry casket, he was merely draped with an Islamic tapestry.
Empty we came and empty we shall return….
I visited him twice, both in his GRA residence in Benin City and Okpella home in the company of his kinsman, and Commissioner for Information, Kassim Afegbua about some four years ago – he was humble, selfless, compassionate, humorous, and religious. He had moral conviction.
The first part of his life was dominated by the triumph of his unique gifts….we should all be thrilled. It was a thing of beauty….But the second part of his life was more important… he perfected gifts that we all have. Every single solitary one of us have gifts of mind and heart. It’s just that he found ways to release them, in ways large and small.
Amodu took the pen of history and wrote his own title in the textbooks…..He was Amodu Shaibu the Greatest…..He showed us all the path to greatness beyond ourselves and even beyond himself. He pointed us to the Greatness of God.
He indicated that when the end came for him, he wanted to use his life and his death as a teaching moment. Even in death, he has something to say; it is far more difficult to sacrifice one’s self in search of peace than to take up arms.
The magnetic football whiz slept early Saturday morning and for once, he will not get up. Not this time! He is gone, but he will never die….
I know for sure, Kassim will miss you….your family will – We all will miss you Coach but my in-law, Mr. Austin Braimoh is disappointed. He said, “Shaibu did not give me a sign!”
Rest in peace…… Coach