Nigerian Soccer legend, Segun Odegbami, over the weekend told SaharaTV that former Nigeria football star, Rashidi Yekini was murdered by yet to be identified people. “We were sure that he was abducted,” Odegbami told SaharaTV’s Omoyele Sowore. “No one could get in touch with him for over two weeks. Nobody told us where they took him.”
Mr. Odegbami reinforced similar comments he made to Lagos-based ChannelsTV concerning the sudden death of the two-time African footballer of the year, and Super Eagles prolific striker, Rashidi Yekini.
“Personally what I have done is to draw attention on all these things. I needed to get facts. I went on air yesterday…we need to have answers. He is an African football hero. He is our national hero."
Yekini played professional soccer for over two decades. He spent most of his career in Europe with the Portuguese team, Vitória de Setúbal. Yekini scored over 40 goals for Nigeria. He mysteriously died on May 4, 2012.
Odegbami, a former Green Eagle’s captain told SaharaTV that contrary to the insinuation in the public regarding the cause of Yekini’s death, that the late footballer had come out of his depression before his death. He said his death was suspicious.
In dismissing the rumor of mental illness, Odegbami said, “For over one hour, Rashidi and I had a conversation 6 weeks before his death. He sounded happy. There was no madness about him. There was nothing wrong about him.”
Odegbami, who led Nigeria to its first Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980 had been working with First Bank and Super Sport to rehabilitate Yekini. The plan involved putting him in a role where he would help to train up-and-coming football players.
The owner of The International Academy (TIA), a Senior Secondary School where boys and girls with talent in sports and arts are trained, carpeted the federal government and the National Sport Commission (NSC) for not doing much for those who brought glory to Nigeria. “This country is just frustrating because we have people in authority who are not sensitive to the needs of our athletes,” he said.
The former IICC Shooting Stars of Ibadan striker demanded accountability for the doctors who treated Yekini. “I am surprised that even with all these mysterious circumstances surrounding his death that his own family is not trying to find out what happened.”
Odegbami urged Nigerians to sustain the lives of its sports heroes beyond sports. “With this Yekini thing, we don’t want it to happen again,” he concluded.
Watch the full interview here.