Home Special Features How ‘angel’ Sanwo-Olu rescued ailing national hero, Henry Nwosu by Nurudeen Obalola

How ‘angel’ Sanwo-Olu rescued ailing national hero, Henry Nwosu by Nurudeen Obalola


HENRY Nwosu is hale and hearty after a long battle with illness, his friend and former teammate Segun Odegbami has revealed.

The former Nigeria international has had his hope and health restored through the assistance of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.

Curiously, especially during election season when every bit of a candidate’s good deeds are amplified, Sanwo-Olu sought to keep his life-saving act away from the public eye.

Nwosu, who at 17 was the youngest player in the Nigerian squad that won the country’s first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980, was in dire need of a helping hand a few months ago. And Sanwo-Olu extended that hand to pull him up.

The former Green Eagles midfielder was in hospital in Delta State but the medical attention he was receiving there was obviously inadequate.

Thankfully, Odegbami and a few other concerned friends of Nwosu’s cried out, and Sanwo-Olu swung into action to keep the ailing star alive.

The Governor made no fuss about the assistance he provided as the national hero was brought to Lagos and nurtured back to full life.

According to Odegbami, Sanwo-Olu dug into his own pockets to help Nwosu, who has lived most of his life in Lagos.

Indeed, Nwosu was called up to the Green Eagles squad while he was still a student in one of the oldest schools in Lagos: St Finbarr’s College.

Odegbami details Nwosu’s journey from ill-health and helplessness, and Sanwo-Olu’s high-level but low-key role in his return to good health and comfort.

“A few months ago, Henry Nwosu, a famous, former Nigerian football hero and legend, an Olympian, and distinguished Member of the Order of the Niger, was at the gates of death. A man blessed by the elements to be in a position to help him, rose to the challenge, took up the responsibility and brought him to Lagos from Asaba for medical care,” Odegbami wrote.

“Henry Nwosu arrived in Lagos, a walking dead man.  Since then, things have taken a new turn with the best health facility and the best medical specialists in the State deployed to handle his delicate heath situation.

“It’s been a few months. Not for one day has this benefactor sought a single publicity (infact he has avoided it like a plague) or even gratitude for his actions. He insisted that everything to be done for Henry will be paid for from his personal purse and without recourse to public funds. He insisted also that no credit should come to him for anything done.

“This morning, the two gentlemen that have piloted this whole matter since Henry landed in Lagos, Bestman Jumbo-Nze (Special Assistant on Youth Matters to the Governor of Lagos State) and Patrick Doyle (President of St. Finbarr’s College Old Students Association, Lagos) and I, met at Henry Nwosu’s new apartment in Lagos to review the situation.

“We were so excited about his progress that we decided to breàk our unwritten ‘promise’ and grant Henry’s request to publicly acknowledge and thank his benefactor.

“Henry described him as the angel sent from heaven to grant him another chance at life.

“Indeed, watching Henry closely this morning, although with still some ways to go, his recovery can only be attributed to the touch of an angel.

“That angel is Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, and not in his exalted position as Governor of Lagos State, but as a human being with the blood of ‘humanity’ flowing in his veins.

“Mr. Sanwo-Olu has personally funded ALL of Henry’s medical expenses, a fully-furnished rented apartment in Lagos, and the cost of his welfare during the undated period of his recuperation.

“Meanwhile, this is not intended to diminish in any way the size of support of several individuals, friends and family members that have also helped Henry in their own ways.

“Today, Henry Nwosu is healing fast and well, making slow but steady progress. He is improving with every breathe and every stride.

“In his new apartment this morning, through emotions, Henry’s voice came alive again, with his pains mostly gone.

Throughout our stay, the words coming out of his mouth were of gratitude to Mr. Sanwo-Olu. Since we could not stop him, I captured them for the world to hear.”

Nurudeen Obalola is the Sports Editor, Naija Times



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