While the who-is-who in Kwara politics and football administration in Nigeria gathered at the football field of St. Peter’s African Church Primary School in Ira, Kwara State, for the eighth days Fidau prayers for the repose of the soul of legendary striker, Rashidi Yekini, his former teammates were conspicuously absent.
Aminu Maigari, NFF president, led a high-powered delegation from the football house that also had the two vice presidents, Mike Umeh and Emeka Inyama alongside other board members in attendance.
Curiously, none of Yekini’s contemporaries in the Super Eagles was present. The duo of Ademola Adeshina and Taiwo Ogunjobi, who were Yekini’s senior colleagues in Shooting Stars, however attended the event.
Rashidi Yekini’s daughters arrive
Akeem Yekini, younger brother of Rashidi decried the situation and wondered why the ex-Eagles chose to shun his brother even in death.
“I don’t think my brother had any problem with any one of them so I thought they would have been here to join in the prayers,” he said.
Also Coach Ganiyu Afolabi, who discovered Yekini in Kaduna and brought him to Ibadan, also castigated the former Super Eagles player for shunning one of their own.
“I don’t think they have any excuse for not coming, they all knew there will be eight-day prayers today. After missing out on the burial I thought they would made up today,” the veteran coach said.
Some of Rashidi’s teammate currently in different states across the country include Augustine Equaveon, Thomson Oliha, Ben Iroha, Ike Shorunmu, Mutiu Adepoju, Stephen Keshi, Moses Kpakor, Alloy Agu, Emmanuel Amuneke, Daniel Amokachi, Victor Ikpeba amongst others.
Meanwhile, at the fidau prayers, Chief Imam of Ira, Shehu Tijani Giwa, warned against peddling rumours about the dead. For him the dead should be allowed to rest in peace
“We are all going to die one day and none of us will like it. People say lies about us in the grave. I will enjoin all of you to join in prayers for Yekini’s soul and not join to say evil of him even in death.
Imam Shehu Tijani Giwa leads prayers at the Fidau
As part of activities to mark the eight-day prayers, a monument was unveiled by the Kwara State House of Assembly speaker, Razak Atunwa, in honour of the late goal poacher
The NFF delegation donated N.5m to the family and promised to organise an international memorial match to be staged in Ilorin.
The proceeds of the match, the NFF said, would be given to the Yekini’s family.
The NFF also said it would make a case for the National Sports Commission to get a national award for Yekini.