The father of Super Eagles and Watford striker, Odion Ighalo, died on Monday morning, family sources have said.
Ighalo’s dad, Paul, a baker, died in his Salami Street, Ajegunle, Lagos home after having recovered from weakness and a loss of appetite.
According to his wife, Mrs. M.S. Ighalo, the late Paul was aged 95 years.
“I’m short of words at this moment. I can’t believe my dad is no more. I spoke with him on Saturday and he prayed for me. I never knew that would be the last time we would have a father-and-son conversation. I’m going to miss him a great deal because he has been the greatest motivator for me in my career,” Odion told thenff.com.
Odion’s elder sister, Beatrice, told our correspondent that the family was happy after their father appeared to have recovered but were shocked when they discovered that he had given up the ghost on Monday.
“My dad is gone but we thank God because he lived a worthy life. Last week Monday, he was weak and couldn’t eat and we called the doctor. On Thursday, he came outside to sit down as he normally did and we were happy that he was okay,” she stated.
The late Paul was immediately buried in his hometown Emaudo, Ekpoma, in Edo State.
“Before he died, my dad told us that he should not be taken to the mortuary but should be buried immediately,” Beatrice added.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation has mourned with Odion over the death of his father.
In a telephone chat on Monday, NFF president Amaju Pinnick told Odion,“I know that no amount of words can console you at this moment. But I want you to know that the NFF and the Nigerian football family are mourning with you at this period. It is always tough to lose a parent. But I want you to be strong at this period and be there for younger members of the family. That is very important.”