Saraki visits Yekini’s mother, floats U-13 football tourney in his honour
•Donates tricycle to younger brother
Senate President Bukola Saraki yesterday paid glowing tributes to the late football icon, Rasheed Yekini when he described him as a glorious soccer ambassador for Nigerian youths.
Besides, he canvassed an institution for Nigeria, where her sports’ heroes and heroines would be honoured before their demise “based on their contributions to the growth of Nigeria on their chosen careers.”
Saraki said during a visit to the mother of Yekini at her residence at Ijagbo, Oyun Local Government Area (LGA) of Kwara state that for years to come, soccer fans the world over would continually celebrate Yekini’s exploits in the round leather game.
He therefore promised sponsorship of an annual soccer tourney among Under 13 boys at Oyun LGA especially Ira, the country home of the late soccer legend, “where another Yekini is expected to emerge in no long a time.”
Already, Saraki has donated a giant trophy for the competition, just as football kits valued at several thousands of Naira doled out to the boys and the officials of the competition, which may coincide with the date of death of the footballer.
Yekini, who played as a striker for more than two decades, and whose professional career mainly with Super Eagles and ‘Vitoria de Setubal in Portugal’, witnessed several goals, died on May 4, 2012 at the age of 48.
Saraki, represented by the General Manager of Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) football club Ilorin, Mr. Alloy Chukwuemeka later presented a new tricycle to the younger brother of Yekini, Hakeem to be used for commercial purposes.
In the entourage were, the Publicity Secretary of the state’s chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), all the players of the ABS and their officials and the Under 13 feeder team players of the ABS.
Earlier, Saraki had carried out renovation of the private mosque, shops and apartments of Yekini’s mother, (Sikirat), as he gave her undisclosed amount of money to boost her petty trading. The six flats two storey building, was built for the woman by Yekini.
Madam Yekini, who expressed happiness with the way the good deeds of her late son were rewarded by Saraki, prayed for the under 13 players of the ABS, with a prophesy that “many Rasheed Yekinis would rise among them.”