By Olawale Ajimotokan
Members of the public have continued to make passionate appeal to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to institutionalize the late Super Eagles legend, Rashidi Yekini for his unprecedented football feats and patriotism to the country.
The nation has since last Friday been thrown into shock after the prolific goal scorer was pronounced dead following a battle with a protracted illness.
While the board of the NFF is expected to advise the authority on how to keep the legend of Yekini flying, a cross section of fans who shared their views Abuja Monday suggested different ways in which government can immortalize him.
The list is very interesting and intriguing as the fans among others, suggested naming a stadium after him; dedicating an annual international football tournament in his memory; opening a football museum which will house his football boots and the Super Eagles No 14 shirt which he famously donned and renaming the new NFF secretariat after him.
The last item was mooted by John Obiora, a policeman, who wanted the secretariat of the football house, which is currently under construction, to be named “Rashidi Yekini House”.
According to Obiora naming the “Glasshouse” after Yekini would not be asking for too much considering what the gangling forward achieved for the national team from 1983- 1998.
He described Yekini as a prolific striker whose goals contributed in taking the Super Eagles to their first World Cup in 1994 in addition to enhancing the image of Nigeria in the 1990s before the rest of the world.
“Let the board of the NFF consider naming the office complex under construction after Rashidi Yekini; it is the most befitting thing to do in the current context instead of naming a stadium or a road after him. (Yekini) played a major role in using football to shape the image of Nigeria. I thing the NFF House should be named after him,” Obiora said.
His suggestion appeared timely as the NFF only in December last year embarked on the construction of a state of the art new secretariat at the Abuja Stadium.
The multi-story office complex will cost N336million and is due to be commissioned this year.
Yekini is Nigeria’s all time leading goal-scorer with 37 goals in 60 full appearances in a career that spanned 15 years.
He also opened the floodgate for other Nigerians- Emmanuel Amuneke, Nwankwo Kanu and Victor Ikpeba-to be named African Footballer of the Year in the 1990s after CAF named him the maiden winner of the coveted award in 1993.