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WILSON ORUMA : Who Will Help the midfield maestro?…..from the Pitch to the Street



Obviously, these are not the best of times for former Nigeria international, Wilson Oruma, who held sway in the midfield for the country in the mid-90s. In the last six years, the maverick footballer had been bogged down by some sort of mental disorder.

It is a shame no group or persons have come to his aid in his trying times.

On Thursday, a Lagos Island resident, who is familiar with Oruma’s daily routine, told a reporter from The Nation that “Nigerians have forgotten Oruma. Even people on the street don’t recognize him again.

A gate-man (Name withheld) at the place where Oruma goes to eat often, said, “Most people around this Lekki area where he eats, don’t really know who he is but when you see him, you will know that this person needs help.”

“In spite of his relapse and status of mental disorder, if you approach him in a gentle way, you may get his attention because he hardly entertains probe into his privacy.

“But he is very friendly o, ” the gate-man recounted.

He continued, “He had even paid some people’s bills here before. He eats here every often and greets people with the name Jesus,” like, “do you have Jesus bro?’ and I will answer “yes I have Jesus bro.”

“But, Sometimes he walks on the street in poor clothing, with slippers, often talking to himself alone and all that…”

Those that are close to the Nigeria football circuit know that the former Super Eagles’ midfielder’s relapse has been a long health issue, long enough for him to have been out of it, however, with the right people and professional help (Not Church or Religion) as often patronized.

You would recall that he was reportedly duped by an unknown pastor in the year 2012. And since then the Delta State born footballer who played alongside Austin JJ Okocha and Kanu Nwakwo is now BROKE!

It was learnt that Oruma eventually lost a whopping sum of N1.2 billion to the investment which also involved the clergyman and some fake oil businessmen.

Six years since the unfortunate incident, the good looking and responsible family man has not remained the same.

On Thursday, the General Secretary, National Association of Nigerian Professional Footballer, Austin Popo in an online reaction hinted that that meeting and consultations with some of Oruma’s colleagues have been held but you would doubt if they would not need to harness further help in the bid to record any success toward Oruma’s rehabilitation.

“Desmond Thanks we have had series of close door meetings to see how we can address the issue. I had discus with Sam Sodje who confirmed to me that he had put a call to Chairman of Delta State Sports Commission.

“Two days behind i also had discussion with Clement Temile and Joshua Khator and Ann apart from being members of the players they are also ex-internationals from Delta State, the same state of Wilson,  it is sad we hope we coordinate all relevant stakeholders to give their support in bringing him back to normalcy,” he shared the comment on facebook with Desmond Ekwueme; a social and sport commentator.

Oruma featured for RC Lens, Nancy, Samsunspor, Nimes, Servette, Sochaux, Marseille and Guingamp, and Kavala FC of Greece before he retired at the age of 33 on November 26, 2010.

The midfield maestro also featured for Nigeria’s U-17, U-23 and the senior national team winning the FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1993, the Olympic gold in 1996 and two bronze medals at the African Cup of Nations in 2002 and 2006.


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