The National Association of Nigeria Professional Footballers, NANPF, has set in motion the modalities to raise urgent funds to help facilitate the prompt treatment of ex- Falconets goalkeeper, Bidemi Aluko, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
According to Aluko, she developed cancer in 2017 while still playing for Rivers Angels in the Nigerian Women’s Premier League.
On Friday in Lagos, NANPF’s General Secretary, Austin Popo, who stood in for the President of the body, Tijani Babaginda, inaugurated it’s Women Affairs Committee which is led by former Super Falcons goalkeeper, Anne Chiejine.
Among other things, the newly inaugurated NANPF Women Affairs Committee is expected to drive the ongoing fundraising campaign to pay for the treatment of Aluko.
The committee is also expected to help get an expert opinion, and advice and make recommendations based on the alternative treatment options being considered for the ailing ex-Rivers Angels goalkeeper.
The University Teaching Hospital Ibadan, The Health and Care Global Enterprise Ltd Bangalore in India and an Israeli hospital are some of the health facilities being considered for Aluko’s treatment
Apart from getting the needed help across to Aluko, Mrs Chiejine-led committee has also been mandated to put in place strategic plans towards the promotion of the general welfare of all Nigerian women footballers from the grassroots to professional football.
Speaking on the task ahead of her, and her committee members, Mrs Chiejine assured of giving her best. She solicited help from all well-meaning Nigerians across the world as well as corporate and public bodies to join in this new drive to help challenged women football players, past and present.
“Most of our women footballers are suffering though they may not come out like Bidemi, but we know the predicament they are passing through. Unfortunately, we are also handicapped to help all of them but with this initiative of a trust fund for the welfare of players we can have a pool of funds that we can fall back on to help these people,” she said.
She said the new women’s committee is not just in place to raise funds for Bidemi.
“No, this is beyond Bidemi, we have many other things we are planning to further improve the welfare of female football players generally,” she said.
Apart from Mrs Chiejine, some of the other members of the NANPF women’s committee include ex-Super Falcons stars, Precious Dede, Chioma Ajunwa, Kikelomo Ajayi among others.
Pepsie Adikwu and Oluchi Tobex Tobe-Chukwu, are also part of the committee that has Danladi Musa as secretary.