Former Super Eagles midfielder and Lobi Stars team manager, Barnabas Imenger has died on Monday afternoon after a protracted illness.
His death saw the Nigeria Professional Football League lose the second official in almost two years after former coach Solomon Ogbeide passed on in the wake of a brief illness in May 2019.
Sources had claimed that Imenger has been in and out of the hospital for a couple of months before he eventually passed on Monday morning.
Reports further suggest that he was said to have been in a critical health state while at the Federal Medical Center, Makurdi, Benue State, before he was later moved to the National Hospital in Abuja.
Confirming the shock news, Lobi Stars' Media Officer, Austin Tyowua side Imenger died at the National Hospital in Abuja in the early hours of Monday morning after a protracted illness.
While speaking on Imenger's loss to Pride of Murkudi, he described the demise of the Lobi Stars' team manager as a huge loss to the team and the country at large.
“The news is true, we have lost a rare gem at Lobi Stars and Nigeria as a whole, thanks for your concern,” Mr Tyowua told media on Monday morning.
“The TM had been in and out of the hospital for a while. He was on life support and used oxygen to breathe at the Federal Medical Center in Makurdi.
“Just yesterday, he was referred to the Abuja national hospital. But he died in the hospital.
“Quite unfortunate that we lost a rare gem. It's a great loss to Nigerian football. May his soul Rest In Peace. ”
At the international level, Imenger featured for the Super Eagles in the mid-90s and also starred in the squad that competed the 1995 FIFA Confederations Cup (King Fahd Cup) in Saudi Arabia. At that tournment, he was the second-youngest member of that team at 19 years.
His death also means that the country has witnessed the death of at least five former Nigeria internationals in the year 2021 following including Joe Erico, Yisa Sofoluwe, and lately Jide Dina.