Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, has revealed that he received the news of his father, Pa Michael Obi’s kidnap, by telephone, four hours before Nigeria’s crucial match against Argentina, in the ongoing World Cup finals, but went ahead with the game so as not to “let 180 million Nigerians down.”
Nigeria lost 1-2 to Argentina in the qualifying round of the competition, last Tuesday.
Mikel in an interview published on KweséESPN said he got a call from Nigeria barely four hours to the crucial game that his father had been kidnapped and the abductors threatened to kill the aged man “instantly” if authorities were informed.
He further revealed that the kidnappers demanded N10 million ($28,000 US) for the safe return of his father, Pa Michael Obi.
DAILY ASSET recalls that Pa Obi was on his way to a funeral in the South East when he was abducted along the Makurdi-Enugu expressway on June 26. He and his driver were rescued by police, after a “gun duel,” on July 2, nearly a week after the kidnapping, the police said.
Spokesman of the Enugu State Police Command, Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the release, in a statement, on Monday, said Pa Obi was rescued by the police on Monday at Egede, near Udi in Enugu State.
According to Mikel, “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 of my head and go and represent my country first. I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody.
“And I did not want to discuss it with the coach because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to the coach or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game. So as much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not do it.”