While the mourning of former Golden Eaglets and Olympic gold winning Coach, Willy Bazuaye, continues, one of the sons of the deceased, Baldwin, has said he prays his father’s death would not be in vain.
Baldwin in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES noted that several coaches as well as some ex-players who served the country meritoriously have long been forgotten. He prayed that his father’s death would prick the conscience of those in positions of authority to help those in need rather than wait for their deaths.
“I thank those that have been supportive,” said Baldwin, himself a former Nigerian striker. “I actually told somebody that I pray that my father’s death will help save some other coaches that are suffering these same things and other ex-internationals will not fall into this same type of situations.”
Shedding more light on the last days of his father, Baldwin said that Mr. Bazuaye was let down as he did not get the timely help that may have made the difference.
“Sometimes you can’t do things alone, you have to ask for peoples’ help, because if you don’t, the same people would blame you that why didn’t you ask for help,” Baldwin said. “The Bible even said, ‘Ask and you shall be given’ but when I did ask, nobody came to my response at the particular time I needed it but we still thank God.”
While this last episode may have gone sour, Baldwin said he and his family will remain grateful to some individuals and particularly the Lagos State Governor, Raji Fashola, who was of immense help when his father first took ill.
“I must say however that when this sickness actually started when I didn’t even ask, I give kudos and respect to a man I call my mentor, His Excellency Gov. Raji Fashola,” Baldwin said. “He took my dad then for like two months and when he came back he was looking quite good like those days he was an active coach. My family will remain grateful to him and I am also grateful to those who individually did one or two for the family. Just imagine that we have ten governors like Fashola, the load will not be too much for only him to help ex-internationals.”
Baldwin said the former coach would be missed by all that came in contact with him.
“He is fun to be with, a father that see everybody as his own,” Baldwin said. “I know it hurts but he fought this battle for so long. The pain was too much for him alone to bear. The last days was not so easy for him, it was not also so easy for me either and my family especially my mum.
“He couldn’t talk; he was in a coma before they gave him oxygen. The last day, we actually had the chance to talk together we were just cracking jokes making fun of each other and I felt happy because he was feeling at home and I told him that my son was eager to take pictures with him again that once he is back from school he will meet him but that never happened. That was the last time I heard his voice and by Monday he was gone.”
On the burial plans, Baldwin revealed that meetings have already begun amongst family members and an announcement should be coming after the general elections.
On her part, the widow of Mr. Bazuaye, Mabel, who declined having an interview said she would miss her husband whom she was married to for over 60 years.
The late Mr. Bazuaye, 79, is survived by a wife, four children and nine grandchildren.