Rashidi Yekini was murdered – Segun Odegbami blogs

Published:12 May, 2012

Rashidi Yekini, in one of FIFA World Cup’s iconic moments

Again let me emphasise: Rashidi was not sick at the time he was abducted. Rashidi was never mad. He could have had periods of some depression but those were in the distant past.

This is one of the most difficult articles I have ever written.

I now believe that the universe sought me out some months ago for an assignment, to bear witness and to testify in the unfolding events surrounding the life and death of Rashidi Yekini! But why me?

Within the football circle I believe I am one of a very few persons that Rashidi Yekini was comfortable with. Secondly, in the past three months I have had the closest interaction with the man up till the time I received the shocking information that he had died. I could not relate the news with the circumstances of his life during this period. Some things simply did not fit the picture being painted. And someone needed to testify, clarify and debunk the ugly and false stories being peddled around to justify Rashidi’s death.
Since I received a call from him three months ago, I have learnt a great deal more about him, the things that happened to him, why he lived his life the way he did, that he was not physically or mentally unstable, that he ran into some misfortune and that he needed support and help to get back on his feet. I have known Rashidi since our days together in the Shooting Stars FC team in Ibadan, when as twin strikers in the 1984 African Club championship we had terrorised defenders all over Africa, freely banging in goals on our way to that year’s finals where we lost! That was to be my last year with Shooting Stars and indeed with football. It was his first year!
Beyond that we had kept a good relationship from a distance. Through the years I had tried to understand his choices of the kind of life he lived without criticising or even counselling him. His decision to join Abiola Babes FC of Abeokuta, his choice of going to play in Cote D’Ivoire, moving to Europe, making the Chairman of Africa Sports FC of Abidjan, an Ivorien, his agent and manager throughout his career, all were totally of his own independent making. This clearly defined his character, that in spite of his obvious limitation in terms of academic capacity from the onset, he left no one in doubt that he was his own man and would choose his own path. He was very fiercely independent minded, never getting involved in the agitations, the politics, the power-play and the intrigues between officials and players, and even amongst the players themselves. All he cared about was to get on the field where he was extremely competitive and play football. He loved scoring goals and hardly ever exuberantly celebrated his goals. Thats why his first goal in the World Cup of 1994, against Bulgaria, and the manner he celebrated it remained the most memorable picture of that years’ championship.

As a player Rashidi was as reclusive as could possibly be. In camp players, that players had to share rooms in pairs, was the reason he lived with anyone. He was that kind of person. He would have preferred to be alone and enjoyed the solitude of his chosen way of life. Football gave him the only outlet to the rest of the world. Otherwise, you would find him sleeping, or saying his prayers, or playing pranks and cracking jokes with the players that visited his room.

Beyond football, Rashidi did not want anyone coming too close to him, to know too much and to meddle in his business. He kept his activities very close to his chest. So, even as we interacted as often as certain events brought us together I noticed his cautiousness. He was a very sensitive person. he tried never to hurt anyone, preferring to cut off any relationships that threatened his regimented sequestered lifestyle. One thing I was very sure of about him was that he never asked anything from anyone, and never wanted to depend on anyone for anything.
Football for him had provided all his needs. In short, for Rashidi Yekini, football was everything and the only thing in his life. It offered him the opportunity to escape from the pangs of poverty and he decided that the safest and best way to secure his future was not to fall victim to any smart Alecs, or scammers, or fraudsters, or business persons with sweet tongues that could talk him into parting with his hard-earned money. He did not want to be used or confused. So he built an impregnable wall around his existence, trusting only very few (he felt safer amongst the Hausa community, and did most of his very few business dealings with them). He worst fear was to lose his money. Thats why his celebrated one and only marriage crumbled after 3 months. He did not trust the motive of his wife for marrying him. So, he left the marriage before it even started. The same attitude underlined his relationship even with his family members. He took care of them, and provided for them, but from a safe distance.
It was a dangerous mixture – to be rich and famous and to be reclusive. Stories were bound to regale such an existence and with Rashidi they came in torrents. Yet, I fully I respected his choice of life and how he chose to live it, even though my every instinct wanted to support and guide him through the turbulences that I knew he would have to face managing unprecedented fame and fortune for a young man coming from his background.

No one knew this whole scenario would become the apparatus for his tragic end.

Rashidi’s death now raises many questions with no answers. The stories about his state of mind have clouded the circumstances of his death that should have been thoroughly investigated to show how, where, why he died the way he did.

I know a mad man when I see one. I can testify unequivocally along with some others that knew Rashidi from close-up that there was nothing wrong with him at the time he was abducted and died. Indeed, he was hale and hearty. Rashidi was not ill. He was fit and sound of mind and body. He even trained on the day he was forcefully taken away by people that have not come out to tell the world why they took him, where they took him, what happened there, who treated him for what ailment, what he died of, and so on. I can also testify that it was the misfortune that befell him a few years ago, that caused him great distress to the extent that he almost lost his life and his mind when his partner was killed and he lost most of his investment in their joint venture. That period was what some of his family members are saying to justify their wicked action in forcefully leading him to his death.

Rashidi was very so much into himself. He had very few close friends and kept even them in the dark about his plight and pains, preferring to deal with the issues himself. So, he did some ‘irrational’ things. So what?. Who would not do irrational things if they lost almost their entire fortune in one fell swoop? It took Rashidi a while to get over it (some two years or so). Playing his football daily, watching movies at his closest friend’s video shop, seeking some spiritual help, avoiding the public and public places, and bearing his own grief alone gradually eased the pain.

Thats where his life was when from out of the blues he rang me up. Rashidi had never done that in all our relationship. I was the one who always did the initial contacting. But some three months ago, he called me himself, and so started a new relationship that was going to bring Rashidi Yekini back to the game he loved with uncommon passion. I had assured him, after he had assured me he would fully cooperate, that he would never be far away from the game again. I assured him that the game could still help restore his lost fortunes. That he had to play it differently this time with kids as his instruments of change. He would help to nurture them, by showing and teaching them how to do the things he did best – position himself at the right place at the right time, evade tackles, and shoot accurately and powerfully with both feet, and score goals on the field of play. He was excited and raring to go. We had started discussing with companies and organisations in Lagos that would provide funds and logistical support.
Then everything came to a shuddering halt. The light of our great dreams was extinguished last week. The news came that a hale and hearty Rashidi, who finished training one evening, and had driven himself home, had been abducted by some family members, taken to an unknown destination for medical purposes, kept there for weeks without anyone’s knowledge but the perpetrators of the act, had died under circumstances that no one has been able to explain to the public.

Again let me emphasise: Rashidi was not sick at the time he was abducted. Rashidi was never mad. He could have had periods of some depression but those were in the distant past. The Rashidi that I saw, drove in his car, sat with for over one hour planning for the future, that called me up several times after that, that met with my emissaries after that, that kept in touch even with my office, that I wrote about in my column some 5 weeks ago, was not sick, or ill, or suffering illusions, or delusions, or hallucinations.

I am here testifying that Rashidi must have been ‘killed’ either ignorantly, deliberately or even inadvertently by those that did not understand what was going on with him, that had their own motivation for doing what they did by forcefully taking him away to an unknown destination for some kind of unclear, unauthorised spiritual or medical intervention that eventually killed him. That neighbours even witnessed the abduction and described it in gory detail requires that the law enforcement agencies should take up the matter immediately, to investigate what exactly happened and why Nigeria’s national hero and treasure, an African football legend in the true sense, should die the way he did.

Rashidi will not rest properly until justice is done.
Rashidi’s death must not be swept under the carpet. He died under circumstances that reek of conspiracy and murder!
Thats why the police must step in..today!

Culled from Mathematical 7 (Segun Odegbami’s blog)

Rashidi Yekini was murdered

6 thoughts on “Rashidi Yekini was murdered – Segun Odegbami blogs”

  1. bidemi says:

    This is a very serious issue, can’t even phantom d whole story. I ‘ld like to know if there’s any medical report certifying his exact mental state?

  2. Seun says:

    People keep talking about how he was poor but I never believed it. His death definitely reeks of murder

  3. Olatunji says:

    Well, this is sad! As we did not have any medically qualified person assesing his mental state, we could neither say he had health challenges or not. Non that had spoken are experts! The bottom line is the fact that we have a disordered society where anything is possible!
    We pray God dive us good leaders in the real sense of it.
    May his sould rest in perfect peace and may Allah grant him Aljanah Fir-daos! Amin!

  4. Oluwaseyi says:

    Nobody ever noticed him when he was alive. But now that he died, everybody ????§ talking about him. Why didn’t you or NFA interfere to his condition. Now you ® saying He was killed. Had it mean you People were there for him, will you write this article? Make believe stories. Pls let him rest joor

  5. Oginni Abidemi says:

    Yekini gave momments 2 Nigeria, we must now also give momments back 2 yekini by bringing d culprits who murdered him 2 justice.

  6. chinaka says:

    wow, touching!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Ondo State | Jimoh Ibrahim and the limits of political charlatanism. – Jude Ndukwe

The Ondo State governorship election is just a few days away. While serious candidates from across all political parties are putting finishing touches to their campaigns and preparations, one Jimoh Ibrahim is desperately busy working hard with collaborators to truncate the whole process in a manner akin to that of a street urchin otherwise known as Area Boy in some southwestern states of Nigeria. Referred to as “Mr Buy and Kill” in some quarters owing to his alleged legendary penchant...

Ighalo Not Bothered By Goal Drought, Meets Rohr Along With Success

Watford striker Odion Ighalo has stated that he remains unfazed by his current goal drought for club and country. Ighalo met with Super Eagles head coach Gernot Rohr recently, along with Isaac Success, who missed the Eagles’ World Cup qualifier against Zambia due to injury. Nigeria star Ighalo, who last scored for the Hornets in their 4-2 win over West Ham in an English Premier League game at the London Stadium in September, is hoping to finish the season on...

NLC slams Senate for re-introducing toll gates

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Thursday in Abuja berated the Senate over its approval for the re-introduction of toll gates across the country. The NLC General Secretary, Dr Peter Ozo-Eson, while reacting to the development, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Nigeria’s policy making processes needed to be interrogated. NAN recalls that the Senate had on Tuesday passed a motion seeking to resuscitate the collection of tolls on federal highways across...

Olisa Metuh Funded PDP publicity During Jonathan’s Campaign – Witness

A witness, Richard Ihediwa, told a Federal High Court on Thursday that embattled Olisa Metuh, solely funded publicity activities during Jonathan’s re-election campaign. Metuh, a former National Publicity Secretary of Peoples Democratic Party, is being tried for alleged N400m money laundering. Ihediwa, who was Metuh’s Personal Assistant on Media, disclosed this while being led in evidence by the defence counsel, Mr. Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN). He said that it came to a point that the ‘situation room’ was not funded by the...

Lecturer who demands for sex from female students risk 5 years jail term – Senate

A Bill for an Act to make provision for the prohibition and punishment of sexual harassment of students by lecturers in tertiary institutions has been passed into law. The Bill which was sponsored by Senator Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta Central) and 57 other co-sponsors, was read for the first time on Wednesday 4th May, 2016. The objective of the Bill is to prohibit the offence of sexual harassment in tertiary institutions and impose stiff penalties on perpetrators. It also creates a strict...

Gowon pays another visit to President Buhari in Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met behind closed doors with a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting was held inside the President’s office. The meeting of the two leaders was the second one in two months. They had earlier met on August 23 before Gowon travelled out of the country. The former military leader did not speak to reporters after the Thursday meeting.

We Are Happy With World Bank Rating – Presidency

The Presidency says the World Bank’s Doing Business R2017 Report, released on Tuesday is an indication that the government’s reform initiatives are yielding positive results.  Laolu Akande “The Buhari administration is gratified that the various reform initiatives put in place towards instituting a positive business environment is slowly but gradually yielding some dividends. “Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business remains static, halting a falling trend in...

Lassa Fever: Lagos launches Operation kill Rats, make More Money

The Lagos State Government will not relent in its effort at making the state the safest place to live in by providing a safe environment, the Commissioner for The Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare has said. Adejare made the assertion at the official flag-off of the Lagos State Market Deratisation Programme, aimed at ridding the state of the Lassa Fever vector at Obalende market on Thursday. The government is collaborating with Phosguard Fumigants, an NGO, to promote the programme through “Kill...

Jose Mourinho charged with misconduct over referee comments

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association. Mourinho's charge was confirmed by the FA on Thursday on their official website. Mourinho was ruled to have breached FA rules for commenting on referee Anthony Taylor ahead of his side's goalless draw with Liverpool on October 17. The Portuguese said appointing Taylor for the game at Anfield had put 'pressure' on the Manchester-based official and it would be 'difficult for him to have a very good...

Twitter to Sack 9% of its Workers Worldwide

Twitter Inc. is cutting about 9 per cent of its employees worldwide. The social media site seemingly unable to find a buyer and losing money has struggled amid competition from the likes of Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, says it expects to book about $10 million to $20 million in workforce restructuring charges. Twitter shares have tumbled 27 per cent in the past month as possible suitors have wandered away, rose 4 per cent before the opening bell Thursday. The San Francisco...

The consequences of the U.S. war on terrorism in Africa.

On May 5, President Barack Obama hosted his Djiboutian counterpart, Ismail Omar Guelleh, at the White House. The two leaders signed a 20-year lease agreement for the Djibouti-based Camp Lemonnier, the biggest U.S. military base in Africa. Covering 500 acres, the installation is a crucial launching site for U.S. military operations against militant groups in the Horn of Africa and Yemen. The U.S. agreed to pay an annual fee of $70 million for the site,...

Shadow War in the Sahara: A look at US/French Military Activities in Africa.

Africa remains a key territory on the global chessboard of the 21st century. Rich in oil and natural resources, the continent holds a strategic position. Whoever controls Mali, controls West Africa, if not the whole of Africa. Doulaye Konate, Association of African Historians, Sub-Saharan Africa is home to six of the world's 10 fastest growing economies. North Africa counts with vast oil and natural gas deposits, the Sahara holds the most strategic nuclear ore, and resources...

Kashamu asks court to stop FG’s move to abduct him.

The Senator representing Ogun West in the Senate, Buruji Kashamu, yesterday asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop the Federal Government from forcefully abducting and transporting him to the United States of America to face drug related criminal charges. Joined in the suit are the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Chairman of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA. Kashamu, through his counsel, Charles Ndukwe, told Justice Gabriel Kolawale that since July when the court...

Stop EFCC from transferring my case to Lagos – Kalu tells court

The former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, yesterday asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from transferring his case from the Abuja Division of the court to Lagos. Kalu is, therefore, seeking an order of mandamus compelling the EFCC and the Attorney General of the Federation to try him in the Abuja division of the court. The applicant, in a motion ex parte brought pursuant to order 34...

Cattle dealers threaten nationwide strike.

The Amalgamated Union of National Cattle and Foodstuff Dealers Association of Nigeria has threatened to embark on indefinite strike over alleged extortion by security agents across the country. Hamman-Jalo Hamman-Jam, acting national chairman of the association, told NAN in Mubi, Adamawa state, on Thursday, that the union was tired of the situation. Hamman-Jam said members of the union were made to part with money at various security check points on major federal highways especially from the northern to eastern part of...

Arms scandal: Panel submits final report, indicts top FG officials.

After 14 months of painstaking work, the Presidential Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces (2007-2015) has submitted its final report to President Muhammadu Buhari. It was gathered from highly placed sources that Buhari received the final report at the presidential villa on Sunday from the Air Vice Marshal J.O.N Ode (rtd)- led panel. It was authoritatively gathered that the report, a copy of which was made available to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Maj.-Gen....

Corrupt judges are a disgrace to Africa – NGO

A non-government organisation has described the recent events unfolding around issues of alleged corruption of Nigeria judges as a huge embarrassment to the continent. The Executive Director of African Renaissance Project (ARP), Dr. Kwame Kobina, stated this at Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana on his way to the 4th International Conference on Democracy and the Rule of Law in Africa, scheduled for Banjul, Gambia by the weekend. He decried the rate of decay and the spate of scandals among the judiciary...

NSCDC alerts public of fake recruitment.

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Benue has alerted the public of the existence of employment racket within the command. The NSCDC Commandant, Mr Shuaibu Jibrin, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi on Thursday that the racket had been collecting money from applicants in the guise of offering them employment into the organisation. Jibrin, however, assured that its searchlights had already been beamed on the perpetrators while explaining that all recruitment exercises by the organisation...

Economic recession: We will emerge stronger – Buhari assures

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday assured Nigerians that the country will emerge stronger, better and prosperous from the current economic challenges. The President gave the assurance in a message to the 7th National Prayer Breakfast meeting, titled; “A tree and it’s fruits, is yours a blessing or a curse”. Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, Buhari said leaders in the country must strive to be a light to the people they lead. He said, “As leaders...

Kogi government overhauls revenue system, to begin TSA.

With recommendations for adoption of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and the establishment of a legally sound and operationally efficient post-autonomy process for the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), Kogi State is set to rejig its revenue system. The move, which is part of efforts to fight corruption and wastes in public finance management, has already received commendations from the state government as the Adhoc Committee on Fiscal Responsibility submitted its report. In recent times, the need to engage professional accountants...

APGA crisis deepens as party disowns Vice Chairman.

Ifeatu Obiokoye, the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, said the party never held its National Working Committee meeting, as claimed by Vice-Chairman, South East zone, Nwabueze Okafor. Obiokoye, via a statement he issued on Wednesday in Abuja, said no such meeting held anywhere. Okafor said on Monday that APGA’s NWC held a meeting under his chairmanship to ratify the purported suspension of the National Chairman of the party, Dr. Victor Oye. Obiokoye said: “APGA wishes to assure members...