Former Nigeria stars Peter Rufai and Clement Temile and some other ex-players on Wednesday paid a visit to former Stationery Stores captain, Yomi Peters, on his sickbed, at the General Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos.
The others are Segun Oguns, Ikechukwu Ewenzor and ex-Super Falcons player, Shola Otis.
Peters, an ex-international, who represented Nigeria in the 1970s, was diagnosed with gastric tumour by doctors last week at the General Hospital and has been battling to stay alive for about two weeks.
Despite his contributions to the game as a player and coach in Lagos State, the 74-year-old Peters has been left to his fate at the hospital. Our correspondent learnt that the Stores legend has been unable to pay his bills and may be held back by officials of the hospital, if he fails to pay the bills after treatment.
Temile, who led the ex-players, consoled Peters, adding that the group was behind him and would visit him again on Friday to render some assistance to him.
“What happened to Peters can happen to anybody. This is the time for us to know that things should be done for people like this. He shouldn’t be taking care of himself. We should have a union that should be responsible for ex-players who have attained certain ages and that is why we came to see him. I am strong today, but tomorrow, I may be in his position too. That is why we are giving him the support,” Temile said.
Rufai said, “There should be a body of ex-players to take care of situations like this. We might also pass through situations like this. We have colleagues who are down with stroke and can no longer walk. This man has done so much for a lot of players and I am part of them. He gave his time to the nation. I call on Nigerians and government to hurry and help him before it’s too late.”
Peters, who barely managed to speak with our correspondent, said, “My situation has improved because if it was last week, I wouldn’t have been able to talk to you. I was diagnosed with gastric tumour and they operated me and we have been going around to find the money for the surgery and series of tests I have been undergoing.”
Oguns commended the hospital for the improved state of Peters but slammed the Lagos State Government for leaving Peters to his fate.
“We are impressed with the hospital and what they are doing. He (Peters) has vastly improved unlike when I first came with Shuaibu Amodu to greet him days earlier,” Oguns said.
“But it is surprising and embarrassing that no official of Lagos State have visited him. It’s not nice news to hear and it’s very discouraging.”