Saraki To Sponsor Football Tourney In Yekini’s Honour

Bukola Saraki, Rashidi YekiniNigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has promised to sponsor an annual soccer tournament to immortalise late Nigerian legend, Rashidi Yekini.

Dr. Saraki, who was represented by the Director of Sports, Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Football Club, Alloy Chukwuemeka, gave the Senator’s promise during a visit to Yekini’s mother, Sikirat at her residence at Ijagbo in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

He explained that the tourney would be organised among U-13 boys in Oyun LGA especially Ira, the country home of the late soccer legend, where they believe another Yekini would emerge soon.

The Senate President added that for years to come, soccer fans all over the world would continually celebrate Yekini’s exploits in the round leather game.

He said that he had donated a giant trophy for the competition and some football kits to the contenders and the officials of the competition, which may coincide with the date Yekini died.

Late Football Legend, Rashidi Yekini, died on May 4, 2012
Late Football Legend, Rashidi Yekini, died on May 4, 2012

Senator Saraki had earlier renovated of the private mosque, shops and a six-flat apartment of Yekini’s mother and also gave her an undisclosed amount of money.

In her response, Yekini’s mother lauded the lawmaker for rewarding her late son with the kind gesture.

The Senate President further presented a new tricycle to Yekini’s younger brother, Hakeem, to help improve his standard of living.

He also called for the establishment of an institution in Nigeria, to honour sports heroes and heroines before their demise, based on their contributions to the growth of Nigeria in their chosen careers.

Mikel Obi dedicates FA Cup to Yekini

Footballer,  Mikel Obi, has dedicated his FA Cup winners’ medal to late football icon Rashidi Yekini, and also promised to honour him during the Champions League Final on May 19.  

According to Mikel, “I would like to dedicate my FA Cup medal to him, and if the manager picks me, I will also try to do something to honour him during the Champions League Final.”

 

“He was one of those that I looked up to as inspiration to be a footballer, and I was devastated to hear what happened to him…I saw some of the clips from the 1994 World Cup and his name was among those that we used to hear all the time,” Mikel disclosed in an interview with KickoffNigeria.com

“I can’t say what I will do yet, but he deserves every honour and this is just my own little way of showing respect to him for what he did for this country.” he added. Mikel Obi belongs to the Chelsea club and played in the game that fetched Chelsea a triumph against Wembley club on Saturday.

Yekini’s death: Blame his family members – Angry Ibadan Youths

Aggrieved youths at Busayo Taiwo Street, Oni and Sons area residence of the former Super Eagles striker, Rashidi Yekini, in Ibadan took to the streets on Monday, protesting against and warning the family members of the late footballer to stay away from his property on the street.

Yekini, allegedly died on Friday after being forcefully whisked away by family members with some Islamic clerics on April 8 (Easter Monday) with claims that he was taken away to be cured of his insanity.

However, one of the aggrieved youths, Yomi Ojo, who claimed to be a friend to the deceased, said that there was no indication that Yekini was mentally imbalance at the time in question. According to him, “the family was not happy with him for sending all his tenants away and living alone in his expansive home without entertaining any of the family members and friends…I have known him for about seven years. Yekini…was a quiet and disciplined man. He loved keeping to himself. But at times he confided in me.”

Mr. Ojo further said “when they came for him, they chained his arms and legs and while struggling to break lose, he (Yekini) sustained bruises all over his body and was blood soaked.”

He explained that “All pleas to be set free fell on deaf ears. His mother, sister, Sekinat; and brother, Wasiu; with two Islamic clerics bundled him into a bus and drove off. He called for help while he was being driven away but those in the neighbourhood were helpless because it was a family issue. We never knew it could lead to his death.”

Another youth, Lasun Olonande, said, “Sometimes ago the family members came with a team of policemen to force him to go with them but he explained to the police that he was not mentally sick as alleged by the family. As a result of this he was left to go. He was an easy-going person and did not like flamboyant life. He was always giving to those in need. The beggars usually lined up in his house to take food.”

One of the aides of Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Nofiu Isiaka, popularly called ‘Aluta,’ who lives in the area, said, “He had girlfriends which he brought home once a while…If he was mad would the girls have agreed to go out with him? We are angry. We know that his house is not our property but we want our temper to die down before the family come around to fight over his inheritance.”

Meanwhile, the Oyo State government has set up an endowment fund for children of the late Nigerian ex-international, Rashidi Yekini. This was made known on Monday after the state executive council meeting by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Hon Dapo Lam-Adesina.  According to him, the endowment fund, which will be strictly for the children of the late football star, would be managed in conjunction with the family of the deceased.

Jonathan mournsYekini’s death

President Goodluck Jonathan has received with sadness the news of the death of Nigeria’s ace football striker, Rashidi Yekini at the age of 49.

The President in a statement signed by Special adviser, Reuben Abati, described Yekini’s death as untimely and unfortunate and noted that Nigeria would forever remember his superlative performances especially at the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 1994 and the World Cup in the United States in 1994.

“It was a delight watching his fast-paced, goal-bound moves at international football competitions as he was feared by goal-keepers and defenders alike,” the President recalled, adding that Yekini also “epitomised patriotism, discipline, hard work, commitment and humility.”

President Jonathan while expressing regret over Yekini’s death urged his family, fans and Nigerians to continue to cherish the memories of the highpoints of Yekini’s career. He also commiserated with the Yekini family, the government and people of Kwara State and all football enthusiasts, and prayed God Almighty to grant the bereaved the fortitude to bear the painful loss and peace to the soul of one of Nigeria’s most prolific footballers.”

Football legend, Rashidi Yekini, passes on

One of Nigeria’s most celebrated footballer Rashidi Yekini is dead. Yekini, 49, died in Ibadan on Friday with causes of the painful death yet to be ascertained.

The gangling striker, who will be remembered mostly for his goal scoring prowess, was severally reported to be ill for an extended period of time and  was said to have suffered from bipolar disorder, depression and some other undisclosed neurological defect.

His death was duly confirmed by his former teammates from the 1994 FIFA World Cup Super Eagles squad, Mutiu Adepoju and Ike Shorunmu.

Yekini, the first Nigerian to score in the World Cup, played for several club locally and internationally. His phenomena scoring record earned him the title of African Footballer of the Year in 1993, the first ever by any Nigeria. He is survived by three wives and three children. He will be buried today in Kwara State.