The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria has declared three days of national mourning in honour of the South-South Vice President of the association, Eddie Bekom.
A statement signed by Olawale Alabi, the Secretary-General of SWAN, said “Bekom sad and painful” death occurred on July 16, following the injuries he sustained from a fire incident occasioned by gas explosion.
Alabi said: “Consequent upon this, the mourning period which begins on Tuesday requires members and sympathisers to wear black cloth or piece of black material pinned on their shirt pockets as mark of respect.
“Bekom had earlier lost his wife and daughter, while his remaining children are still on danger list following the gas explosion which occurred at their residence in Ikom, Cross River State.
“Bekom’s death is a national tragedy, and given what has befallen his entire family, we can only pray the Almighty God to take control of the situation we have at hand.
“The Bekom family’s case is an unfortunate situation that had called for all hands to-be-on-deck for all kinds of support.”
Alabi expressed thanks to those who responded quickly in the challenge of rescuing the family.
He said: “It is now a greater challenge to us that those still receiving treatment at the hospital in Abakaliki should not lack anything in the area of material and financial support for treatment and rehabilitation.”
The SWAN scribe expressed regret at the “lackadaisical attitude” of the Cross River State Government in spite of being informed immediately the incident happened.
He said that the fact that Bekom worked for the state government was enough reason for the state to have come to his aid.
Alabi appealed: “SWAN is still hopeful, in spite of the action of the Cross River State Government, and now makes strident appeal to Gov. Ben Ayade to spare nothing to ensure that the remaining members of Bekom’s family are given the best of treatment.”