As the world continues to remember the late Nigerian football legend, Rashidi Yekini, who would have turned 56 on October 23, it was mixed emotions at the University of Ilorin as one of his daughters, Mariam Omoyemi, graduated from the institution’s English Department.
Mariam is the younger of late Yekini’s two daughters. She officially completed her first degree on Wednesday in flying colours.
Yekini’s lawyer and close associate, Jibril Olanrewaju, told PREMIUM TIMES it was mixed reactions as Mariam fulfilled one of her father’s dreams.
“If the dead can see, I am sure Rashidi Yekini would be smiling in his grave as Yemi graduated from university today (Wednesday),” the lawyer said.
“Yekini was really passionate about his children getting the best of formal education since he was not opportune to have the same.
“I am also very proud of the children that they have not let their father down as they have done quite well in their chosen fields of study,” he added.
According to Mr Jubril, the first vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Seyi Akinwunmi, has been very supportive of Maryam’s education since she was in Part Three.
“We thank God and also thank Barrister Akinuwmi very much for all the support especially from when Yemi got to part 3, he was very supportive and we appreciate his efforts,”he said.
Just like her elder sister, Yemisi, who was the second overall best graduating student from De Monforte University in Leicester City, United Kingdom, two years ago, Mariam told PREMIUM TIMES she would be pursuing a second degree after her National Youth Service.
“It’s one step at a time, I thank God for completing this first phase, then the next is to do service, I know I want to do my Masters but where actually, I cannot say for now,” she said.
On the unavoidable absence of her father at her graduation ceremony, Mariam said it was overwhelming for her but she has since learnt to live with the reality of the permanent loss.
“There is nothing we can do about it anymore but I am glad I made my dad proud. I am also happy that my friends and family have been very supportive,” she said.
Yekini, Nigeria’s highest goal scorer of all time, died in a controversial manner seven years ago.
Among other feats, Yekini is most famous for his iconic celebration inside the opponent’s goal post when he scored Nigeria’s first-ever World Cup goal in USA 1994.
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