The Nigeria Football Federation, on Thursday, announced plans to pay N30,000 monthly each to mothers of two ex-internationals, Rashidi Yekini and Samuel Okwaraji.
Before NFF’s announcement, the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development had on Wednesday placed both matriarchs on a monthly stipend.
NFF tweeted, “In furtherance to and in appreciation of the recent pronouncement of the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, to put the mothers of the two late ex-internationals on a monthly stipend.
“The NFF has decided to support this noble initiative with a further monthly stipend of N30,000 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 on what to do for them on a monthly basis.”
Alhaja Sikiratu, the mother of the late Super Eagles striker, Rashidi Yekini, earlier lamented that she had been going through “very tough” challenges since her son died.
She spoke during the presentation of Ramadan gifts to her by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare.
While thanking the minister for his gesture, Alhaja Sikiratu narrated that she was recently hospitalised.
She was quoted as saying, “I have been abandoned for a long time and have not seen any help from anyone.
“I was hospitalised for a few days and some months ago and I did cater for myself despite the scarce resources. Even last month, I received treatment from the hospital.
“I need help from Nigerians. This minister has done very well, especially remembering me in this holy month of Ramadan.
“Since my son died, it has been very tough for me because I do not get help from people. Rashidi’s siblings are not doing well too, so, I was left to struggle for life every day.”
Late Rashidi Yekini, who died eight years ago in Ibadan after retiring from football, had his professional career spanning more than two decades.
Yekini scored 37 goals as a Nigerian international from 58 games and represented the nation in five major tournaments, including two World Cups where he scored the country’s first-ever goal in the competition against Bulgaria in the USA 94.
He was also named the African Footballer of the Year in 1993.
On his part, Okwaraji collapsed and died of congestive heart failure in the 77th minute of a World Cup qualification match against Angola at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos in 1989.