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.