President Bola Tinubu has mourned Dr Cairo Ojougboh who reportedly slumped and died on Wednesday while watching the Nigeria vs South Africa African Cup of Nations semi-final match. He was a former House of Representatives member, who represented the Ika federal constituency of Delta State.
Ojougboh, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), reportedly passed away during the Nigeria versus South Africa match, on Wednesday.
According to reports, the tragic incident happened when a penalty was awarded against Nigeria in the 88th minute of the game.
He was said to have shouted and slumped due to a massive heart attack when the Bafana Bafana scored.
“He was said to be watching the live match yesterday. When a penalty was awarded against Nigeria, Dr. Ojougboh was reported to have screamed, and then collapsed,” a source said.
In his statement, Tinubu said he received the news of the passing of Ojougboh, former Executive Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), with a heavy heart.
The president condoled with the Ojougboh family, the government, and the people of Delta State over what he called “the tragic loss”.
In his condolence message, a former Governor of Delta State, Chief James Ibori message said, “I am devastated by the news of the death of Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, a very outspoken and courageous personality who served his community, Delta state, and Nigeria well in different capacities during his lifetime.”
Ibori disclosed that he crossed paths with Ojougboh while studying at the University of Benin.
“Years later, our friendship became solidified when we both worked together to advance the interests of Delta State both at the national and state levels. The late Ojougboh was elected into the National Assembly in 2003 while I was also sworn in for a second term as governor.”
“In everything that he did, Cairo was exemplary,” he added.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones. I pray that God repose his soul and give his family the fortitude to bear this irreparable loss,” said Ibori.
It would be recalled that Nigeria eventually defeated South Africa on penalties in the semi-final at the Stade de la Paix in Bouake.
Both teams played out a one-all draw through the regular period and extra time before the Eagles triumphed 4-2 in the penalty shootout.
The match was a record 15th semi-final AFCON semi-final appearance for the Super Eagles, and it was a nervy encounter that pushed them to the
Victor Osimhen was only announced fit on the eve of the match after suffering abdominal discomfort.
However, another injury forced Jose Peseiro, Super Eagles head coach, to make a change to his regular starting line-up. Bright Osayi-Samuel came in for injured Zaidu Sanusi at the back.