Ilorin – It was wailing, dirge and eulogy as the remains of 1993 Africa Footballer of the Year, Rasheed Yekini, were buried in his home town Ira, Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State.
The ex-international, 48, who died on Friday was buried according to Muslim rites at 4 p.m.
The Chief Imam of Ira, Alhaji Shehu Tijani, who led the prayer before the burial, noted that death is the end of everyone.
The burial was witnessed by a large crowd of soccer fans from across the country.
Yekini, who died in a private hospital in Ibadan at about 10 p.m. on Friday, was brought to Ira at about 2 p.m. on Saturday for burial.
Present at the burial was the Kwara State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Prince Tunji Moronfoye, who pledged that government would do something to assist the deceased’s family.
Others were representatives of Osun State Governor, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, Commissioner for Sports, Mr Stephen Kola Balogun who said the news of his death was received with shock.
The Osun State Government donated N1 million as endowment fund for the soccer legend to cater for the family and children.
Others at the burial included Ike Shorunmu, Taiwo Ogunjobi, Mutiu Adepoju, Stephen Olarinoye representing the National Sports Commission and Otunba Dele Ajayi, the Chairman of Ondo State Football Association.
The Commissioner for Sports, Oyo state, Mr Dapo Lam Adeshina who represented Gov. Abiola Ajumobi said Yekini’s death was a great loss.
According to him, the country has not rewarded him for his contribution to national soccer development because he scored the first Nigeria world cup goal in 1994 in the U.S.
In his reaction the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, said he received the news of the death of the soccer icon with great shock and disbelief.
Ahmed noted that the deceased would be missed at a time when his experience was needed to move Nigerian football to the next level.
“On behalf of myself, my family and the good people of Kwara I condole with the family and the sporting world on his demise”, Ahmed added.
The traditional ruler of Ira, Alhaji Abdullahi Oyetoro urged the government to always come to the assistance of the sports heroes to encourage the young ones.
The mother of the deceased, Alhaja Sikirat Yekini, thanked his friends and government for their assistance.
She said her son had been sick and withdrew to himself about five years ago, adding that they spent all they had to take care of him before his death. (NAN)