Nigeria’s skipper, John Mikel Obi has revealed that his father was kidnapped hours before the game against Argentina at the ongoing world cup.
Mikel who made this disclosure through his management company, stated that he received a call from his family notifying him of the kidnap hours before taking the field in the third match of the group stage against 2014 finalist Argentina. He stated that they demanded from him an undisclosed sum of money and warned him not to reveal the issue to authorities if he wants to see his father again.
Mikel further stated that he had to conceal the development from his team mates and coach in order not to cause panic within the camp. According to him, “I played while my father was in the hands of the bandits. I had to suppress the trauma. I was emotionally distraught and I had to make the decision about whether I was mentally ready to play. I was confused. I did not know what to do, but in the end, I knew that I could not let 180 million Nigerians down. I had to shut it out my head and go and represent my country first”.
Both Mikel’s father and his driver were kidnapped last week while travelling for a funeral along Makurdi- Enugu express way.
The Enugu State Police Authority through its spokesman Ebere Amaraizu on Tuesday revealed that Mikel Obi’s father has been released after a shoot out with the kidnappers. However none of the kidnappers were captured and arrested in the process. Mikel father has since rejoined his family where he is recuperating from the injuries sustained while in kidnappers den.
Mikel in a post on his official twitter handle @mikel_john_obi wrote “I would like to thank the police authorities involved in ensuring the safe return of my father after the ordeal of this week. I will also like to thank everyone for their kind words of support. He is now recuperating with family. My family and I are grateful.”
There were no indications, however, that the ransom requested by the kidnappers was paid by the Obi family.
Report by Victor Alagogooko for IbadanCity Announcer