Tribute Pours in for Late Kaduna FA Chairman Kapaka

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By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON, Kaduna.

Loads of tributes are pouring in for the late Kaduna State Football Association Chairman, Honourable Abdulkadir Magaji Kapaka who died in Lagos on Tuesday after a protracted illness.

Top politicians, business executives and football administrators from all over Nigeria converged on Kaduna for his burial according to Islamic injunction on Wednesday after his corpse arrived Kaduna through Kano Airport on Tuesday night.

The sudden death threw his family, friends, associates, colleagues and the entire Nigerian football family into deep mourning.

Shortly after his interment in Kaduna, several people that were on ground to pay condolences to his family at his residence on Jabi Road, were strong enough to speak to the press. Others, too shock to speak, expressed how they felt with their emotions doing the speaking as tears flowed freely.

We have lost a pillar – NFF

League Management Company (LMC) Chairman, Honourable Shehu Dikko, who represented the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, who was out of the country, and led the delegation from the football family, described late Kapaka as one of their vibrant sources of inspiration, whom will be greatly missed.

“He was unique and has been the pillar of the NFF. Very vocal, always working for the good of the game. He has contributed a lot to football,” he said.

Shehu dikko said that the only thing the NFF can do to attempt to pay him back is to support the family he left behind.

He was patriotic and supported national teams – NFF General Secretary

For the General Secretary of the NFF, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, he would be fondly remembered for his patriotism and uncommon zeal that saw him support the national team against all odds.

“He has been a strong pillar. All the matches the national teams played in Kaduna, he ensured that they were supported by the government.  Be it the U-17, the Super Eagles. We would miss him greatly,” he said.

He was committed to service to humanity – Kaduna FA Secretary

For the Secretary to the Kaduna State FA, Abdussalam Jere, there are not enough words to describe his humility and generousity.

“Late Kapaka was humble, generous and committed to service of Kaduna State. He has done very well, the records are there for all to see. He reformed the entire organization and did so many other things which he would be leaving behind as legacies,” he said.

He was a role model – Garba Lawal

Ex international and Super Eagles player, Garba Lawal described him as the kind of leader football needs.

“He was a strong man, the kind of leader that football needs. He gave all his best day and night. He was a politician, came into football and gave it all his best,” he said.

Lawal expressed hope that his family would emulate him.

“We hope that his family continues from where he stopped,” he said.

Kapaka was dedicated – Referees President

The President of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Tade Sherrif  said that Kapaka was a good man who was dedicated in serving diligently as the FA Chairman.

“It is quite sad and unfortunate to have lost him so early,” he added.

He kept to his words – Kaduna FA Vice Chairman

The Vice Chairman of the Kaduna State FA, Honourable Sherrif Abdullahi Kassim  said that Kapaka was a straight forward man.

“Kapaka is a man, who keeps to his words and was ever willing to assist whoever comes seeking help from him. We have lost a straight forward man. He hated sycophancy. We pray his soul continues to rest in peace,” he said.

He was an astute football administrator – Plateau FA Chairman

Chairman Plateau State Football Association, Sunday Samson Longbap in few words, described him as humble dedicated and generous.

“He was an astute football administrator. This is a huge loss, not for only Kaduna State, but the entire Nigeria,” he said.

He was deeply rooted to support of football – Chairman Rimi Youths FC … ‘I will organize a competition to immortalize him’

The chairman of Rimi Youths FC, Engineer Yusuf Abubakar (Best) said his death is sad and a big loss to football worldwide.

“From Allah we come and to him we return. This is really sad news and a big loss to the game of football worldwide. I have related with him for a very long time and one thing he stands out for is his selfless generosity.

“He is someone deeply rooted for the development of the game. May his next world be better than this one.  I will organize a championship in his honour to immortalize him,” he said.

We lost a friend and father to everybody – Kawu

Former Special Adviser to the Kano State Government on Sports, Honourable Ahmed Muazu Kawu described the deceased as humble and friendly.

“He was humble. We lost a friend and father to everybody. It is a great loss. He was a man that loved everyone. The loss comes as a rude shock. By mere looking at the caliber of people trooping in for condolences, you’d see that he was a great man. May his soul rest in peace,” he said.

We will support his family – Sali

Friend of the deceased, Atiku Abubakar Sali described him as kind, gentle and generous.

“I knew Kapaka as a friend, brother and colleague. He is kind, gentle and above all generous. Though we love him, but God loves him most. We are ready to support the family because we are one. We will keep praying for him as ordered by the Holy Quran,” he said.

 Kapaka was the  chairman of Kaduna State Football Association and independent vice-chairman of the Nigeria National League (NNL)

In December, he attended the 72nd general assembly of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) in Lagos, where the new board of the NNL was inaugurated.
A graduate of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Magaji was a two-time member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, and was also a two-time special adviser to Ibrahim Yakowa, former Kaduna governor, on sports.
He was a member of the NFF match commissioners’ appointment committee before he was announced as the independent vice chairman of the NNL.

The late Kapaka also served as Special Adviser to former Kaduna State Governors, Namadi Sambo and the Late Patrick Yakowa.

He is survived by his father, wife and three children.

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