First vice-president of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Barrister Seyi Akinwumi has expressed shock over the death of a former chairman of Nigeria Premier League (NPL), Chief Oyuki Jackson Obaseki.
Akinwunmi said he was sad to hear on Sunday about the passing of the league icon fondly called ‘The Moving Train,’ who he said played a key role in modernising the domestic championship and was also active as second-vice president of the NFF.
Obaseki breathed his last on Sunday in Benin City, at the age of 75, and Akinwunmi says the late football technocrat left his giant footprints on the sands of time in the round leather game, with his extensive work, passion and vision to take Nigeria League’s elite division to new height.
He was also the Ohe of Bini Kingdom, a very high–ranking position in one of the oldest ethnic clans across the universe, and during his time as the NPL chairman, Obaseki was automatically NFF’s second vice-president in the tenure of Alhaji Sani Lulu Abdullahi as top shot, from 2006-2010.
In his reaction to the passing, Akinwunmi, who is also current chairman of Lagos State Football Association, was full of encomiums for Obaseki, who was pioneer chairman of Interim Management Committee which was inaugurated in February 2005, and later transmuted to NPL in 2006.
Akinwunmi eulogised: “A truly big tree has fallen. We remember very much the work that Chief Obaseki did to promote and project the elite division of the Nigeria League during his time as chairman.
“It was difficult to match his passion and energy as he pursued his vision for an independent League body. We worked together at some point during the early days of the efforts to reposition the Nigeria Premier League.
“He took everything that needed to be done as a project and drove everyone else around him hard to play their own roles appropriately.”