August 9, 2020

Diaspora journalists pay tribute to Ukaigwe, Oyewole

July 21, 2020
Elder Bode Oyewole

Nigerian Sports Journalists in Diaspora (NSJID) has extended its heartfelt condolences to the families, colleagues and friends of Henrietta Ukaigwe and Bode Oyewole whose sudden passing last week threw Nigerian diaspora sports journalists into mourning.

At the beginning of its first Board of Directors’ Election on Sunday, NSJID observed a moment of silence in honor of their two colleagues. The new organization comprising active and former Nigerian sports journalists all over the diaspora, also set aside 10 minutes for tributes for the two departed colleagues.

“This is indeed very tragic,” said Eyobong Ita, the US-based incoming president of the organization. “To lose a colleague is painful enough, but to lose two colleagues on the same day is a humongous tragedy.”

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Many members of NSJID paid tributes to their two colleagues when news of the tragedy broke last week.

“The Queen of Female Football in Nigeria is gone,” Tunji Coker, a member of NSJID based in Canada wrote about Ukaigwe, a prominent advocate of female football in Nigeria.

“About 11 of us founded Female Football Interest Group (FFIG) at the National Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria, around 1996/7,” recalled Wasiu Sodeinde, now based in the United States. “She really soldiered on and became the face of FFIG. May God rest her beautiful soul!!!”

Ukaigwe, a former president of FFIG also worked in several media organizations, including Vanguard and MINAJ. Oyewole, a former chairman of Shooting Stars Football Club, also worked for Tribune newspapers in Ibadan. Both died on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

“I can’t believe it,” said United Kingdom-based Caroline Nwankwo, the incoming assistant secretary of NSJID.

“Oh my God! I’m speechless!!!” said Rasheed Adewuyi, incoming treasurer of NSJID based in the U.S.

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“I am just pulling myself together…I’m still in shock,” said US-based Dare Joseph, pioneer president of the female football interest group. Ukaigwe succeeded Dare as president of the group.

“Bode was also well loved; this is a double blow indeed,” said Edwin Emeanua, US-based NSJID member who is related to the late Ukaigwe.

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