Abdul-Aziz Amodu, eldest son of the late Shuaibu Amodu, said his father may have had a premonition of his death.
Amodu junior, who said the news of the death of his father came to him the day he was to depart for National Youth service Corps (NYSC), noted that when they both spoke last on Friday morning, his father said something about death, telling him that if he died, he should be buried immediately.
The 26-year-old, who just graduated from Igbinedion University, Okada, added that the last he spoke with his father was on Friday and that the late Amodu was not “particularly sick before” his death Saturday morning.
“My last conversation with him was Frriday morning. I was supposed to depart (for NYSC) Saturday morning, so I called him over that. He didn’t pick my calls, but he called back. He said he was busy and that I should calm down.
“He said he would be in Okpella Saturday. He briefly said something about death.
He said Keshi had not been buried because he was not a Muslim and that if he died he should be buried immediately. I didn’t know why he was telling me about death that morning. It never occurred to me he would die that day.
“He was not sick and was advanced in age. He had not been fasting in the last three years because of his health condition and I don’t know why he decided to fast this year. He was not particularly sick apart from sickness associated with aging.”
According to him, “I just woke up this morning (Saturday) and saw someone rushed to the house to say that Shuaibu Amodu was dead. The person said I should tell my uncle. I asked if the person was talking about my father and he said yes; that it happened this morning.”
Also commenting on the death of Amodu was his younger brother, Yunusa Amodu, who said he got the news of his brother’s death from the palace of their traditional ruler.
“It was a shocking news that got to us this morning. I got the news from my brother from the palace. Three days ago, I spoke with him towards the evening and we discussed at length. I even sympathised with him over the death of Coach Stephen Keshi and he said well, that’s how they received it and that they are trying to mobiles his coaching members towards his burial.
“He promised me that this weekend he would be going home and after resting for a while at home, he was going to find his way back to Abuja. But as you can see, he is no more.
Yunusa said the late coach has not for once complained of any ailments to them, adding; “but he did not say anything like that. If there was any, he would have told him when they spoke three days ago. He was fully OK.
“He was a great man. He was a father to all of us now that our father is no more and he have been leading the family. His death is a great loss to the entire Okppella community and the entire nation. I will miss him in everything,” Yunusa said.
Yunusa disclosed that the aged mother who was living in the late Coach’s house in Okpella, had to be moved to the palace of the Monarch who happens to be an uncle to the Amodus.
Commenting on the alleged debt owed to Amodu by the NFF, Yunusa said: “Though he used to mention it, but we did not interfere because he has a way of sorting himself out with them. When he was complaining, all of a sudden, we heard that they gave him another appointment as the Technical Director, which means they have a way of settling their differences.”
Meanwhile, Amodu’s body, that had earlier been brought to Okpella from Stella Obasanjo Hospital in Benin at about 12:30p.m., Saturday, was brought out from the inner chambers of his house for internment at about 5:07 pm.
Some family members and neighbours could not hold back their emotions as they cried and wailed uncontrollably.
At about 4:00pm, Amodu’s mother who had earlier been taken to the palace of the Okuokpellagbe of Okpella, Alhaji A.Y.E. Dirisu, was returned to the compound after she had been informed of her son’s death.
Special prayers, led by Ustaz Ahmed Shehu, was offered for the repose of the soul of the late coach of the defunct BCC Lions of Gboko.
In his remarks, Ustaz Shehu discribed the death of Amodu as a great loss to Okpella community, Etsako nation, Edo State and the nation at large.
At about 5:10p.m. a funeral prayer was observed, shortly after which he was interred at about 5:15p.m
Members of the Nigerian football family including the Secretary General of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Mohammed Sanusi; Chairman of the Edo Football Association, Frank Ilaboya; Robinson Okosun and other football and sports enthusiasts gathered at the late Amodu’s residence to pay their last respect.
Top officials of the Edo State Government such as the late Amodu’s cousin and Edo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Prince Kassim Afegbua; Commissioner for Environment, Clem Agba, and other notable personalities from the Etsako nation also attended the burial.
Hundreds of residents of Okpella were not left out as they trooped out to honour one of the foremost sons.
The late soccer tactician was survived by his late wife, Kuburat; seven children, mother, brother and sisters.