Some of Ghana football heavyweights have paid glowing tribute to former News Editor of Daily Graphic Mr Sam Okaitey, who passed on to eternal glory on Good Friday, when they visited the offices of Graphic Communications Group Limited to commiserate with the staff on the departure of the affable ace journalist.
In a subdued mood, the GFA President, Mr Kwesi Nyantakyi, who led a four-man delegation comprising a former Ghana Football Association (GFA) Chairman, Lepowura Mohammed Nurudeen Jawula; the GHALCA Chairman, Rev. Emmanuel Addotey, and GHALCA Administrative Manager Kurt Okraku, representing the major stakeholders of the football fraternity, expressed their condolences on the death of Mr Okaitey, who had close relationship with them over the last few decades during his active career as a sports journalist.
The body language of the delegation was that of shock as the football administrators came to terms with the departure of a friend and respected sport journalist, and promised the GFA would play an active role in according the celebrated journalist a befitting funeral, giving his immense role in the development of Ghana football over the years.
The Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Ransford Tetteh, briefed the football chiefs about events that led to the sudden death last Friday of the three-time Sports Journalist of the Year, who Lepowura Jawula described as “one of the best sports writers I’ve come across”.
The former FA boss, who had a very intimate relationship with Mr Okaitey until his death, eulogised his friend and emphasised the need to give the deceased a fitting funeral to reflect his much vaunted status in journalism and within the football fraternity.
“Let’s show the world that great journalists of his kind deserve to be honoured in a special way even in death,” said Alhaji Jawula, who together with the other members of the delegation signed a book of condolence in the Daily Graphic newsroom.
The GFA President, who learnt of Mr Okaitey’s death just yesterday, said he had taken a personal liking for him for his great writing skill and objectivity over the years.
Mr Nyantakyi noted that as a former chairman of the GFA’s Media Committee during the administration of Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe, and also as a member of the Black Starlets Management Committee many years earlier, the late Okaitey had contributed positively to the present success of Ghana football.
“Sammy spent a lot of his useful life serving football and he was the epitome of sports journalism. Graphic will be hit, Ghana football will be hit by the loss because we cannot replace Mr Okaitey,” said the GFA boss as he extolled the virtues of the a versatile journalist who at different times acted as Editor of the Graphic Sports and the Graphic Showbiz.
Earlier, Mr Kofi Wayo, a politician; Mr Dua Adonteng, a former Managing Director of Ghana Post, and Mr Razak El-Alawa, three-time Journalist of the Year Award winner, called at the Graphic offices to pay their condolences to the management and staff of the company.
They all recalled their fond memories of Mr Okaitey and said he was a gem.