NIGERIA’S sporting fraternity was thrown into grief once again as the death was announced on Tuesday morning of the former Minister/Chairman, National Sports Commission, Hon. Bala Bawa Ka’oje. He was 60 years of age.
In a condolence message to the Ka’oje family, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, described the death of former Sports Minister as “a huge loss to not only his family and friends, but the country at large.”
In a statement issued by the media office of the minister, Mr Dare said: “Shocking to learn about the death of former Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Engineer Bala Bawa Ka’oje. So sad that Nigeria has lost a very illustrious son who served this country meritoriously. His death has robbed Nigeria of another bright mind and committed public servant. This is not just a loss to his family and friends, but the country in general.
He made his mark while serving as Minister of Youth and Sports. He was a multi-talented man who served his people and the country with all his mind and might. May God console his family and grant him eternal rest”.
Similarly, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) expressed its shock and sadness at the passing of the former Minister, with the NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi describing the deceased as “a dignified and unassuming public servant who showed great passion and interest in the development and improvement of Nigeria sports.
“Quietly intelligent, diligent and a man of high integrity, Ka’oje is on record to have conveyed to then NFA (for onward conveyance to world football -governing body, FIFA) in February 2007, the abrogation of Decree 101 hitherto governing the administration of football in Nigeria, and government’s recognition of the approval by then NFA’s Annual General Meeting of the Statutes and its standing orders as the sole regulatory instrument for football administration in Nigeria.”
Born in Kebbi State on 20th September 1960, Bala Bawa Ka’oje earned a master’s degree in structural engineering from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
His remains were interred in Abuja on Tuesday afternoon.
The NFF was represented by the General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi and Head of Member Associations, Ali Abubakar Muhammed.