Jonathan, Atiku Mourn Yekini
May 5, 2012 in Nigerian Current Affairs
In a Saturday statement signed by Dr. Reuben Abati, his special adviser (media and publicity), President Goodluck Jonathan described the death of the 48-year-old Yekini as sad, untimely and unfortunate, noting that the country would forever remember his superlative performances, especially at the African Cup of Nations in Tunisia in 1994 and the World Cup in the United States the same year.
“It was a delight watching his fast-paced, goal-bound moves at international football competitions, as he was feared by goalkeepers and defenders alike,” the President recalled, adding that Yekini also “epitomised patriotism, discipline, hard work, commitment and humility.”
Expressing regret that Yekini’s illness might have held him from imparting his football expertise and skills to the younger generation of footballers after his retirement from active play, Jonathan enjoined his family, fans and Nigerians to continue to cherish the memories of the highpoints of his career.
“The president also commiserates with the Yekini family, the government and people of Kwara State, and all football enthusiasts, and prayed to God Almighty to grant the bereaved the fortitude to bear the painful loss; and peace to the soul of one of Nigeria’s most prolific footballers,” the statement ended.
Similarly, former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, commenting on Yekini’s death, said it is “a huge loss to the country, considering his invaluable role in putting Nigeria on the map in terms of international soccer, fame and glory.”
In a statement issued on Saturday in Abuja by his Media Office, Atiku Abubakar portrayed the late Super Eagles prolific scorer as a rare star that dominated his game, forcing even his rivals into silent admiration of his mercurial skills.
“Yekini’s single-minded commitment to excellence propelled him to stardom beyond his wildest dreams of glory. With 34 goals in 54 appearances for the Super Eagles, the late goal king left no one in doubt of his incredible skills in the beautiful game,” the statement recalled.
He called on the Federal Government and the National Assembly to immortalise him, praying that God grants him eternal rest and gives his family the fortitude to bear the loss.
In a related development, the former presidential aspirant condemned the murder of the private secretary of Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s, Comrade Olaitan Oyerinde by unidentified gunmen.
“The rate at which human life is becoming so easy to snuff out is not only intolerable and embarrassing but also a direct challenge to law and order,” Atiku lamented, noting that frequent acts of violence pose indescribable threat to the social and political stability of the country.
He, therefore, urged federal and state governments to redouble their efforts in stemming the threats of criminality across the country.