Former Nigeria International Is Dead
Nigeria football fans (Photo: Jumia Travels)

Emma Okala, Ex-Green Eagles Goalkeeper, has expressed shock over the death of Arthur Madueme, ex-Green Eagles and Rangers International FC midfielder.

Concise News reports that Arthur Madueme, fondly called ‘Arthur Belly’, died some days back a brief illness.

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Okala told NAN in Enugu on Monday, that Arthur Belly was a very close friend who he spent time with to discuss football related issues any time he visits the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

“I met with him few weeks back and we spent hours together discussing football and ex-Rangers’ issues. He is a close friend to me and I know his immediate family members so well,“ Okala said.

Arthur Ebunam, another ex-Green Eagles and ex-Rangers player, said that the news of Arthur Belly’s death was a rude shock to him.

“The news has brought sad moment for ex-Rangers International, both in the country and in the diaspora.

“The news unsettled me throughout the weekend. I was shocked to receive phone calls from friends who though it was me, since we bear same first name.

“I have to rally round our ex-Rangers members in Anambra since he was from Uke community in Anambra,’’ Ebunam, who is also the Chairman of ex-Rangers Anambra Chapter, said.

He said that ex-Rangers would definitely discuss his death at their upcoming national meeting at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu.

Madueme, whose death came just four months after that his wife, also played for Shooting Stars of Ibadan and BCC Lions of Gboko as a midfielder.

NUJ suspends SWAN national elections, says parallel congresses should be put on hold

In related news, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Tuesday in Abuja again waded into the growing crisis in the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) by suspending the body’s upcoming national elections.

The NUJ, which is the association’s mother union, in suspending the elections, asked the two electoral bodies now in place for the elections, to stay action “forthwith and indefinitely”.

In a letter by the union’s National Secretary, Shuaibu Leman, the NUJ said that the Port-Harcourt and Abuja congresses of SWAN, which would have accompanied the elections, should also be put on hold.

According to NAN, the letter was addressed to Honour Sirawoo, SWAN National Chairman, and copied the two electoral bodies presently in place.

“The NUJ President has directed that you should suspend this election forthwith and indefinitely, pending when all contentious issues raised in petitions to NUJ National Secretariat are resolved amicably,” Leman stated in the letter.

The NUJ also invited Sirawoo to its National Secretariat “for a meeting as soon as possible to discuss the way forward”.

Crisis had been brewing in SWAN since Sirawoo made attempts to review the Association’s Statutes with only few days to the end of its National Executive Committee (NEC) tenure.

Sirawoo’s three-year tenure was to have ended on July 13, having been elected on July 13 of 2016 in Ilorin.

This unfortunate situation led to the emergence of a group, “Concerned SWAN Members”, as well as one presidential election aspirant, Ahmed Aigbona, who had through a series of petitions alerted the NUJ to the undemocratic ongoings.

The NUJ was then forced to ask Sirawoo to halt the Statutes Review.

But he had then gone on to constitute an electoral committee which issued election guidelines that sought to stop the real members of the Association from being involved in the electoral process.

The situation had led to the resignation of the committee’s chairman, Yusuf Isah, as well as the factionalisation of SWAN, leading to the formation of another electoral committee by the new faction.

The crisis in SWAN has seen the Association’s National Chairman writing a petition to the Department of State Security (DSS) against some of his members, without recourse to laid-down guidelines.

His action has even led to the security body inviting him to explain why he had to petition it on matters seen to be political.