Family kicks against alleged plan to bury Keshi in Benin
The Keshi family of Ogbe Onyeogu Quarters Ukpologwu Illah, Oshimili Local Council of Delta State has written to their in-laws, the Aburime Family of Ewu, Edo State, demanding that Super Eagles former Coach, Stephen Keshi, who passed on on June 7 be buried in his paternal family home.
There have been reports of plans to bury the late Keshi in Benin, where he lived before travelling to Europe for his professional football career. Keshi’s late wife was buried in Benin in December last year.
In the letter addressed to Mr. Patrick Aburime, the Keshi family said, “We are the enlarged family of Mr. Steven Okechukwu Keshi, our son who suddenly passed away on the 7th of June 2016 after a brief illness. While we grieve over his death we also wish to commiserate with you on the demise of your beloved in-law.
“Sequel to the series of meetings between your family and the Keshi family of Ogbe Onyeogu Quarters Ukpologwu Illah with particular reference to the meeting on Friday 17th June 2016, at which the Keshi Family was represented by Mr. Sylvester Keshi and Mr. Ifeoseme Aranwa, we wish to convey our expectations concerning our son’s funeral and final rites of passage to you.
“As you are well aware, Mr. Steven Okechukwu Keshi, the Onwa Na Etili Ora of Illah, was our son, brother, husband & father. His parents lived and died in Illah and both were buried in Illah. Steven in his lifetime had very close ties with his Illah community as he often sponsored youth football tournaments, particularly the Illah Youth Cup, every December and this endeared him to members of his community.
“In 2013 when he led the Super Eagles of Nigeria to the AFCON Nations Cup final and emerged victorious, the then Ogbelani of Illah, Obi Nwabuenu Mebu conferred him with the chieftaincy title of Onwa Na Etili Ora of Illah. He was physically present to receive and be conferred with this title by the Ogbelani of Illah.
As it is customary in Illah, the death of a Palace Chief is heralded by several traditional ceremonies and this necessitated our dispatch of family representatives to Benin to confer with our son’s children, who are currently in Nigeria and his extended family particularly the Aburime family, our in-laws.”