By Ozioruva Aliu,
Benin City Entering his sparsely furnished sitting room in his weather-beaten bungalow at No 10 Omozioge Drive street off Jemide, Off Giwa Amu Street in Benin City, Coach Sebastian Brodericks Imausen heartily welcomes his guest into a chair in the sitting room; he looks cheerful but he was quickly joined by his wife, Helen apparently to guide him and bring him back to himself as he seems to be suffering from dementia.
Coach Sebastian in between sobs and at a point totally crying said he has been surviving on his monthly pension but that has been stopped for about three months as he could not go for the last screening of pensioners by the Edo state government because of ill-health. However, his wife has submitted the when we won the World Cup in China. We talk often and he takes me as a father. There was a time the federal government invited us to give us some stipends, that was when I saw many of my players.
“There is no coach that has taken a team to the World Cup up to three to four times; my records are there; I went to China 85, 87 then 89. I think about four world cups (breaks down and cries) You people will have to try to help me, I have suffered for this country, help me, it is so sad that I have to cry for the country to help me. It is so sad.
“My sight has been affected so I can’t see very well, my wife is the only person that is always with me helping me to do everything, there is a lot I can’t do without her. My children send me the small money they can so it has not been easy but God is with us.”
necessary documents but he is still waiting for the government’s reaction. He said “You can see that I am no longer active. I am 83 years old now, I have been out of the system. At a time, the state government under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole gave some jobs to build the Under-13 team. I was in Under 13 assisted by Monday Eguavoen the elder brother to Austin Eguavoen and Rufus Ejiene. It was being coordinated by late Coach Amodu Shauibu but later the state government decided to scrap it. “I don’t know what to say but look at what happened to Christian Chukwu until God brought people to help him. I communicate with him regularly because he was my assistant
How it happened? His wife, Helen cuts in
It is God that has saved him, it is only God that said it is not yet time. Since last year he has not been balanced; maybe he wants to tell you something, he will just lose his composure and speak about other things outside what he wants to tell you what he is talking about and he will not remember what he wants to say again or what he is saying so I have to always be around him.
“We have been trying to take care of him but you know money is involved. The doctor said he should go and do a scan. First, it was that his sugar level was high and when we started checking that, all of a sudden we don’t know what happened he just lost his memory.
“On December 16th last year (2020) We went to attend the burial of a neighbour down the street. On the day of the burial, I asked him not to go because it was raining and everywhere was wet, I said he should not go that I will go and represent him but he insisted he would go because he said it was the woman that helped him to get this land where he built this house so we went but on our way back, daddy suddenly could not walk again, it was people that helped me to carry him back to the house. When we got home, he started asking me, “where are we?”. I was shocked, I told him we were in our house. He then asked me if I was sure we are in our house until I started showing him his awards that are hung on the wall before he regained himself.
I prepared food for him but he cut a mound instead of taking it to the soup, he still took it to the plate where he cut it from, the thing baffled me because before we left home, he was okay.
“He cannot rapport easily; sometimes he asks the same questions repeatedly. In December when he was down, we didn’t hear screening of pensioners in the state it was when I discovered that his pension was not paid by the state government for two months that we went to find out and we were told that there was screening which he did not participate in so we have sent all the documents to them and went for the screening. To date, we are waiting to know whether they will restore his pension at the end of the month.
Helen said after some days, she called the doctor to come and examine him because “when he is inside the house, he will be moving freely but when he is outside, it is not always the same, we have to be carrying him.
“We saw the doctor and the doctor would ask him some questions and he would not be able to answer. The doctor said we should go for a sugar test and then a brain scan and after that, his condition got worse. I would not know if it was because the doctor said we should go for a brain scan because there was a time he had a partial stroke and he went for a brain scan so once he heard brain scan again, his condition becomes worse.
“It is money that we need to take care of him because when he was active, it was different from this now that there is plenty of money in the game of football; he has done eye surgery in the past, then he also prostrate, for sugar and several others so we have to stop some of the drugs and I told the doctor about it. For him to interact now is difficult.”
Former players visit
Former players’ visit Helen said early this month, his former players have been calling and some even visited him. “It was this month that his boys started trying to reach him. Precious Monye first phoned him, after that Olusegun Fatuga called, then Jide Oguntuase, then Kayode Keshinro called, when he received these calls, he started crying that after over 30 years they lost contact, now all of them are calling him about seven of them called that (Brodericks broke down in tears again) then Fetuga promised to come and physically visit him in Benin City about two weeks ago, he came with Oliver Ndigwe and said they came to represent his other players of 1985 and they will keep in touch. It was this month that his former players started looking for him, all this while he has been forgotten even by the government and his players. It is the little we have that we have been using to survive.
“When Edo state government launched Bendel Insurance, he was there and the deputy governor gave him a jersey and that was all, since then.
She said Coach Sebastian’s children are in Lagos, “they are the ones helping as much as they could because things were not too easy. “But they are helping in their own little way,” she said.
“I had a bakery but because of his ill health, I had to abandon it and the workers I had then ran it aground and fled with my money. I had to close down the bakery and remain with him.”
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