By Millicent Ifeanyichukwu
The immediate past President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN), Yusuf Dauda, died on Wednesday night at the age of 61, the HFN Secretary, Mohammed Maigidansanma, has said.
Maigidansanma said on Thursday that Dauda died at his residence in Minna after he was discharged from a hospital.
He described the death as shocking and saddening, adding that it was a huge loss to Nigeria’s handball family.
“We just lost our immediate past President in the person of Yusuf Dauda who died late night in his house; his family members broke the sad news to me at 1.00am this morning.
”I doubted the news at first but when series of calls started coming to me this morning, I realised that, of a truth, Alhaji Dauda has really gone; It is sad.
“It is painful; the handball family is bereaved because we have lost a very dedicated member who, even after his tenure, was still in the board and relevant,” he said.
The HFN scribe said arrangements had been concluded by the family members to bury late Dauda in Minna on Thursday, adding that some officials of HFN were on their way for the burial.
Samuel Ocheho, Current HFN President, in reaction to the death, described the late Dauda as a strong member of the HFN board and someone who had given his time to handball in the country.
Ocheho also said that the death of Dauda had put the handball family in mourning.
He prayed God to grant the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
“I am short of words; he was part of us even during our national championships held in Abuja and Lagos. He always made significant input in our proposals.
“We are going to miss him a great deal; may his soul rest in peace and may God grant us, especially the family, the fortitude to bear the great loss,” he said.
Mohammed Bala, a handball Coach said that the handball family had lost a good leader.
He described the late Dauda as a humble person who was committed to the development of the sport even after his tenure.
Bala said that Dauda would be remembered for achievements recorded by national teams in international handball championships.
“It is unfortunate; we have lost a figure who gives priority to handball affairs in his schedule; it is an irreparable loss.
“I am consoling myself and the entire handball family and encouraging the immediate family – wife and children – to be strong.
May may his soul rest in peace,” he prayed.
The late Dauda served as HFN president for eight years, and until his death, was a member of the Ocheho-led HFN board.
He was survived by two wives and children (NAN)