“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,” Mikel said. “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.”
Pa Michael Obi was en route to a funeral in southeastern Nigeria when he was kidnapped June 26; he and his driver were rescued Monday by police. In a statement, Superintendent of Police Ebere Amaraizu described the rescue. “The abductors started calling to demand a ransom of N10 million before police operatives acted on intelligence information and swooped on them. In the process of the rescue, a gun duel ensued between police operatives and the kidnappers which forced the hoodlums to abandon their victims inside the forest and they were promptly rescued.”
Sources said that Mikel’s father had been tortured and required stitches for his wounds. A tweet by the Enugu State Police described him as “hale and hearty” despite the ordeal.
Mikel’s father was kidnapped once before, in 2011, and was released after 10 days. An adviser to the player tells Kwese ESPN that security around the family will be ramped up.
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