News broke on 2nd July 2018 about Pa Michael Obi, Mikel’s father’s rescue. Pa Obi was kidnapped for the second time in seven years alongside his driver, John Ishaya on Makurdi-Enugu Road on June 29.
Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel faced Argentina on June 26 knowing that his father was being held for ransom, but did not tell anyone about it as the kidnappers threatened to shoot “instantly” if authorities were informed and they demanded N10 million ($28,000 U.S.) for the safe return of his father, Pa Michael Obi.
“Following various speculators about recent occurrence with my father,” Mikel was quoted to have said. “I can confirm I had to suppress emotional trauma to lead Nigeria out against Argentina last Tuesday, June 26 in Saint Petersburg.”
“Four hours before kick-off, I received a call from Nigeria that my father Pa Michael Obi had been kidnapped for the second time. He was on his way to a funeral in south-eastern Nigeria from Jos when he was abducted along the Makurdi-Enugu expressway.”
“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.”
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“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.”
Thankfully he is now safely released less than seven hours ago. “I thank the police authorities for their rescue efforts and support from friends and family members.”
This was the second time that Mikel’s father had been kidnapped. The first incident was in 2011; he was released 10 days after being abducted. Security will be enhanced around the player’s family in Nigeria, Mikel’s adviser said.