This among his other commitments to his country. The law graduate and a football midfielder will pay for his flight to Nigeria for Super Eagle matches without collecting dime from the then Nigeria Footbal Association. This act has been buried among the footballers of nowadays.
Short History of Samuel Okwaraji
Samauel Sochukwuma Okwaraji was born on May 19, 1964 in Owerre-Umudiaka, Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State, South Eastern Nigeria.
He turned out to be the most educated Nigerian footballer with his qualification as a lawyer with a master's degree in international law from the University of Rome.
The attainment of master's degree in law is extremely challenging enough, not to talk of combining this professional with football. He also played for teams like NK Dinamo Zagreb, SSV ULM 1846 and VfB Stuffgart.
This national hero made his international debut in 1998, and later selected in the team that represented the nation in the African Nations Cup, after scoring one of the fastest goals in the football history against Cameroon.
His commitment also went beyond just serving his country; he also defended the right of his beloved country not to pay for his services when Nigeria was asked to pay $45.00 by his club SSV ULM 1846.
He reportedly visited his manager's office saying “I am a lawyer and you know. I signed to play football for certain conditions but I don't think it included reselling my services to my country. You or your club cannot stop me from playing for my country whether you like it or not.”
Now His Negligence by the Government
It was so disappointing that Okwaraji and even some of our gone heroes could only be remembered during death anniversaries; such memorable patriotism should be duly regarded and catered for. The government should either provide some compensation to the family of the heroes or even declare public holidays to honor them.