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John Obi Mikel Reveals Heart-Wrenching Story Of Paying Ransom For Father’s Release From Kidnappers

John Obi Mikel, a former captain of the Super Eagles, has disclosed that he had to pay a “crazy amount of money” to kidnappers in order to secure his father’s release.

Recall how Mikel learned that his father, Pa Michael Obi, and his driver, Ishaya John, had been abducted on the Markurdi-Enugu road in 2018 four hours before the Super Eagles’ match against Argentina in Russia.

Although being aware of this, the football player shook it off and continued to lead the Super Eagles with what was widely hailed as a great degree of patriotism.

Mikel explained how he was allowed to play the game despite his father’s safety concerns in an interview with Dubai Eye 103.8 Sport.

Mikel claimed that he learned the upsetting news while riding the team bus to the St. Petersburg stadium.

The ex-Chelsea midfielder claimed that a family member had contacted and instructed him to contact the kidnappers at a specific number. He did so and was requested to pay a ransom.

He admitted that even though the news had devastated him, he had to put it behind him in order to continue with the match.

“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 of my head and go and represent my country first. I could not even inform the coaches or NFF staff and only a very tight circle of my friends knew.

“I was told that they would shoot my dad instantly if I reported to the authorities or told anybody. I also did not want to discuss it with the coach [Gernot Rohr] because I did not want my issue to become a distraction to him or the rest of the team on the day of such an important game. As much as I wanted to discuss it with the coach, I could not,” he said.

“They [the kidnappers] said listen, we know, it is Mikel he would pay. If he doesn’t, we are going to shoot his dad. They said they had nothing to lose. They would shoot my dad and dump him somewhere,” Mikel Obi said.

“It was horrible. After the game, I got back on the phone, tried to negotiate with them and spoke with them. They were calling some ridiculous amount of money for a start, and in the end, I still had to pay some crazy amount of money to get my dad out.

“Even now, I still go through it. Even when I got a flashback, I had to speak to the guys on the phone. There was a gunpoint at his head. They said they would shoot him, kill him. I have not told my kids about it, but a few months ago, they looked at my phone and saw the news about it. Obviously, I have not told them about it because they are young kids, 7 years, but one day when they grow up, I will be able to share the story with them,” he said.

 

 

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