The wife of Ondo State Governor, Chief Mrs. Betty Akeredolu-Anyanwu has enjoined the players and management of Sunshine Queens to take heart and be strong over the demise of one of their colleague, Elizabeth Johnson.
She said Johnson’s death was a rude shock, not to Sunshine Queens alone but to the entire Ondo State and Sports fraternity nationally, she counseled the players to take solace in the fact that God giveth and God taketh.
Femi Atolagbe, Sunshine Queens
Media and Publicity Officer in a statement on Tuesday night said Chief Mrs Akeredolu was represented by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Gender, Research and Documentation, Ngozi Igbo-Okoro.
The statement noted that Akeredolu stated this during the condolence visit to the camp of the state’s female team at Ilekun Estate, Oda road, Akure.
Akeredolu said: “I have no divine power to mend your broken heart, it’s only God that can do that, if we are cry from now till eternity, she won’t come back, all you have to do for her is to ensure you keep her legacy and make her proud.
“It’s a big blow to the state that we lost such an experienced and long serving player, i really share in your grief.
“My prayer is that you and her entire family be strong to bear the irreparable loss.”
The General Manager of both Male and Female teams of Ondo State Football Agency (ODSFA), Otunba Akinsola Akinbobola while thanking the wife of the Governor for identifying with the team at a critical time like this, said the management of the teams led by the Deputy Governor, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa will not abandon the family of the late player.
“We didn’t abandon the corpse and we will never abandon the family, we shall be part of the burial ceremony, a delegation will be sent there to pay our last respect to her.”
Akinbobola said the visit of the first Lady would in no small measure raise the spirit of the ladies, adding that it will make them shrug off the unfortunate incident and face the challenges ahead.
He said: “Johnson was a strong member of the team, she has been with the team for many years, all she needed from us is to be up and doing and ensure we win all our remaining matches in her honor.
“Nobody, not even the most powerful men in the world cannot stop death when it come knocking. Crying from now till next year will not bring her back, let’s wake up and be strong and win for her. I’m very sure that we are going to win our next matches and dedicate the victory for her”.
The delegation of Sunshine Stars FC players and coaching crew led by their Team Manager and Head Coach, his assistants, Team Captain, Seun Betiku, Deji Ayeni, Kayode Adeyemi, Sulaiman Afolarin, Abe Sunday also sympathised with their sister team.
The head coach, Deji Ayeni said death is an inevitable debt we owe in life, noting that it was an unfortunate situation that nobody can question God.
Ayeni while stating that Johnson’s death will have traumatic effect on the team, charged the players and officials to be more united to face the battle ahead of them for the sake of the late captain of the team.
“Be united, fight for the team like never before and let the spirit of Elizabeth Johnson be happy.”
Abe Sunday admonished the players to play and win for their late colleague, “no doubt, she was a good sister to you, you just have to make her happy by ensuring her dream comes to reality. Her dream was to ensure that Sunshine Queens doesn’t relegate”.
Other ODSFA technical staff in the delegation include ; Coach Kayode Emmanuel, Coach Shade Akinrolabu.