In a recent interview published by Punch, the 80-year-old Alhaja Sikiratu Yekini, mother of late Super Eagles striker, Rashidi Yekini, has finally opened up on her financial status and what has been happening since the death of her son.
When asked how life has been treating her since the death of her son, Yekini’s mother revealed some interesting and shocking details many will find very surprising. She said: “I have been managing. It has not been easy at all. Since he died, I have not had substantial support. I have been surviving on the rent I collect from the house Rashidi built for me as well as the proceeds from my petty trade. As you can see here, I sell bread, biscuits and some other household cooking materials. I use the rent to do some little repairs on the house and also to find at least a meal a day or more depending on what the day brings.”
Asked about the houses which he collects rent and the allegation by Yekini’s lawyer that she collects about N500,000 from rent yearly, she said:
“We have five flats in this house. I use one flat, my surviving son, Akeem, and his family use one flat while I rented out the remaining three flats. This is almost a remote area. It is not like Abuja, Lagos or even Ilorin where you can collect substantial amount for rent. The tenants were paying N30,000 per annum but I just increased it to N45,000 per annum this year. That means that prior to this year, I was collecting only N90,000 per annum from the three flats.
“The lawyer is not being truthful. He is maligning me, and stopping people from assisting me through his statements. Since my son died, if people have given money to the lawyer for me, he has not given me. It is only now, due to media publicity, that people started helping me.”
Speaking about how she has been helped so far by well meaning Nigerians, she revealed that some well meaning Nigerians have come to her aid since news broke about her poor living condition.
She said: “During Rashidi’s one year memorial anniversary, Osun and Oyo states’ governments gave money to his wives and children. Osun State gave his wives N2m and Oyo gave N2m as well. The Kwara State Government made a promise but it has not been fulfilled. Some people recently started helping me. There is a group from Abuja that opened a bank account for me. Some money has been paid in for me. Also, Yinka Ayefele recently sent a delegation to me.
“He read about my ordeal in the papers and he was touched and sent people to ask me what my needs were. I told them. Also, Chief Donatus Agu-Ejidike was touched after learning of my story. He came here and gave me N100,000. Some weeks ago, the wife of the Kwara State Governor, Mrs. Omolewa Ahmed, sent a delegation and they gave me clothes, food, beverages and some cash. I am grateful to them. May God reward them but I still need more.”
However, she revealed that the Nigerian Football Federation totally abandoned her and her family. She disclosed that she has not received a kobo from them. In her words: “They [NFF] have not done anything. If government or people have been giving Yekini’s lawyer (Jibril Olanrewaju) in Ibadan, things to give me, he has not been sending them to me. I am not aware that NFF has given any money to the family since my son died.”
The woman revealed that it was poverty that pushed her into selling bread and biscuit. She said “Poverty is one of the reasons. I want to make money. I may buy bread at N300; when I sell at N350, I make N50 profit, which I use to survive. I do not want to stay idle. I am selling bread to make money, so that I won’t die early.”
She is begging the government to assist her with money to survive as things are getting hard and she doesn’t have a way to sustain herself.
“If they can assist me with money, I will appreciate it. I plead with President Muhammadu Buhari, the NFF, state governments and everyone to assist me. They should remember that my son made Nigeria proud. They should not abandon me now that he is no more and I am now an old woman. When my son was alive, he was always there for me. If Nigeria helps me, God will bless the country more.” She said.