Buhari, Lalong mourn former Super Falcons Coach Ismaila Mabo

President Muhammadu Buhari and Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong have extended condolences to the family of Ismaila Muhammad Abubakar, a former coach of the Nigerian female football team, the Super Falcons, who died on Monday.

In a statement by presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, the president “joins them in mourning the loss of their husband and father, popularly known as Ismaila Mabo Nakande, who was a seasoned football manager, credited to have worked with and managed some of the best talented female players in Nigeria’s football history.

“Mabo was also a legendary footballer in the domestic league, making his mark as a player and captain of Mighty Jets of Jos and also representing the country as a formidable central defender with the Green Eagles.

“As the head coach of the Nigeria women’s national team at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics, the President believes that Mabo’s legacy will live on in the players and the coaches that came in contact with him during his career, as well as the young athletes that will draw inspiration from his managerial abilities in the years to come.

“The President prays that the memory of the departed will be a blessing to those who mourn,” the statement said.

Also mourning the former Super Falcons coach, Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong says he received the news of the death with shock but total submission to the will of God.

Lalong, in a statement by his media aide Makut Simon Macham, said “the death of Coach Mabo is a great loss not only to his immediate family but to the entire people of Plateau State and Nigeria at large considering the impact he made in his sporting career and football in particular.

“He said Coach Mabo in his playing days devoted his strength, energy and talent playing for many great clubs including the famous Mighty Jets Football Club of Jos and the national team, Green Eagles.”

According to the Governor, as Coach, Ismaila Mabo is credited with discovering and mentoring young talents, grooming them and exposing them to great clubs in the State, Nigeria and the world thereby enhancing the sport.

“We remember fondly his exploits as the Head Coach of the female national team, the Falcons during the FIFA 1999 Women’s World Cup; 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games; as well as the Quarter Finals of the World Cup among others. During his lifetime on earth, Coach Mabo loved people and promoted peace, unity and oneness irrespective of ethnic, religious or political considerations” he said.

Lalong said he has lost a personal friend and mentor who did not only offered him support during his football days, but also offered him advise on enhancing the game of football when he became Governor.

The Governor on behalf of his family, the people and Government of Plateau State, prayed God to grant his soul eternal rest and comfort the family.

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