Sunday Dare, Minister of Sports and Youth Development, has said the mothers of the late Rashidi Yekini and Samuel Okwaraji, former Super Eagles players, will get more attention from the Federal Government.
Dare stated this in a series of posts on his Twitter handle on Thursday.
According to the minister, the government is recognising the achievements of the late Yekini and Okwaraji for the men’s senior national team by honouring their mothers.
He explained that the details of the welfare package will be communicated privately to the concerned persons.
“The mothers of Rashidi Yekini and Sam Okwaraji will enjoy more benefits and remuneration as soon as the Ministry works out other details. The final details will be privately communicated.
“What government has done is to reach out and recognize the labours of these soccer heroes through their mothers. We value motherhood and service, and no contributor to our nation will be left behind as we seek to beat a new path,” Dare tweeted.
Dare had on Wednesday directed his representative Olaitan Shittu to visit Yekini’s mother in Kwara State, where she was given food items and a cash gift of N50,000.
Sequel to Dare’s pronouncement, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced that it will a monthly stipend of N30,000 each to the mothers of both late ex-internationals.
The NFF made this known via the official Twitter handle on Thursday.
The football governing body in Nigeria added that the gesture will also be extended to surviving mothers of other ex-internationals who died in active service for the country.
“In furtherance to, and in appreciation of, the recent pronouncement of the honourable minister of sports Sunday Dare to put the mothers of late ex-internationals Sam Okwaraji and Rashidi Yekini on a monthly stipend, the NFF has decided to support this noble initiative with a further monthly stipend of N30k to each of the two matriarchs.
“In addition, the NFF will henceforth review the situation of surviving mothers of our ex-internationals that died in active service for the country and resolve what to do for them on monthly basis,” the NFF tweeted.
Okwaraji, a midfielder, collapsed and died of congestive heart failure during a 1990 World Cup qualifier for Nigeria against Angola at the National Stadium, Lagos, on 12 August 1989.
The Orlu-born player had eight appearances for the national team, scoring one goal.
On the other hand, Yekini played for the national team from 1984 to 1998, capping up 58 appearances and scoring 37 goals
The striker, popularly referred to as “gangling goals father”, remains the highest goal scorer in the green and white shirt of Nigeria.
He died on 4 May 2012 in Ibadan, Oyo State.