Obeya ‘s Death Worries AFN; Gorge Regrets Loss of Talented Coach

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Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) acting president, Honourable Olamide George says the death of another veteran athletics coach, John Obeya has devastated the athletics community in Nigeria.

Coach Obeya died Tuesday in Jos, Plateau state after complaining of stomach ache. He was aged 65.

“This is a very sad day for track and field in Nigeria. When we are still mourning the untimely passing of coach Tobias Igwe, another blow has been dealt our dear sport with the report of coach Obeya’s death in Jos,” said George in a statement.

“Coach Obeya complained of a stomach problem on Monday and was taken to an undisclosed hospital in Jos where he was operated upon, but sadly he didn’t survive,” said George who lamented Nigeria has lost one of her most talented track and field coaches.

Until his death, Obeya was a sprints coach with the Bahrain Athletics Association and was instrumental to the recruitment of reigning world 400m champion, Salwa Eid Naser (formerly Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu) by Bahrain in 2014.

He trained Eid Naser to win the 400m gold at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Athletics in Cali, Colombia and silver at the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London.

Although Eid Naser struck gold at the 2019 IAAF World Championships in Doha,Qatar under another coach, Dominican Jose Ludwig Rubio, it was Obeya that laid the foundation for her incredible feats in the women’s quartermile where she ran 48.14 seconds, the third fastest time of all time behind (East) Germany’s Marita Koch (47.60 seconds in 1985) and Czech’s Jarmila Kratochvilova (47.99 in 1983).

“Like coach Tobias Igwe, coach Obeya was also in the Nigeria team to the first IAAF World Junior Championships in Athens, Greece in 1986 where he took charge of especially the two jumpers in the team, Beatrice Utondu and Caroline Nwajei and has produced so many top stars for Nigeria. It is on record that he trained Tina Ozoro to the first national triple jump record and top jumper, Chinedu Odozor and Samuel Onikeku,” George further stated.

The AFN acting president says the federation will send a condolence message to the family of coach Obeya and prays that God grants the family the fortitude to bear this great and monumental loss.

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Osinbajo didn’t pray for Buhari’s death in any church —Spokesman

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Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, has denied allegations that his principal visited a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God where he and other congregants allegedly prayed for the death of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Akande, who is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity (Office of the Vice-President), said this in an article published in reaction to columnist, Dr. Festus Adedayo’s opinion piece.
Adedayo had, in an article published on Sunday in several online platforms (not NigerianEye) titled, ‘The Trials of Brother Osinbajo,’ said he received information that Osinbajo, who is a Senior Pastor with the RCCG, had, in a gathering with members of the church, prayed for the death of the President when the latter was away on medical leave.
The columnist said a confidante of Buhari, who was at the gathering, informed the President of Osinbajo’s “sinister plan,” hence the breakdown in the relationship between Buhari and Osinbajo.

In his reaction, however, Osinbajo’s spokesman challenged Adedayo to state where the alleged prayer session took place and the date.
Akande wrote, “He (Adedayo) claimed that the Vice President, together with some Redeemed Church ‘accomplices,’ gathered to pray at some place unstated in his home state of Ogun, at a date that was not indicated, for the purpose of interceding for the VP to become President, and by extension, hoping for, or seeking the death of the President.
“So, where exactly in Ogun State did this prayer session take place, and when? Was it in a church, in which case there would likely be an audio recording?
“Who are the prominent pastors or other persons involved that can testify to what transpired — what are their names?
“Who is the ‘strong Buhari ally’ who made a surprise appearance at the gathering and brought the story back to Mr. President?
“If, as Adedayo claims, the VP has been hounding and haranguing this Buhari ally since then, why is it so difficult for him to cry out and publicise his strange discovery?”
Akande also rubbished claims by Adedayo that Osinbajo, as acting President, had an ulterior motive when he sent the name of the then acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to the Senate for confirmation.
He wondered how Osinbajo would have wanted Onnoghen to sack Buhari.
“Who primed Onnoghen to package Buhari inside a judicial casket during the 2019 elections? And to whose benefit?
“If, for any reason, the Buhari election was nullified by the judiciary, how would that benefit his running mate, since they contested on the same ticket?” Akande asked.
The Vice-President’s spokesman said it was unfortunate that some elements were being sponsored to drive a wedge between Osinbajo and Buhari.

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