Mikel Obi Reveals He Paid Huge Ransom To His Father’s Kidnappers

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Mikel Obi has revealed that he paid a huge amount of ransom to ensure his father Pa Michael was released from the den of kidnappers in 2018.

Mikel Obi Reveals He Paid Huge Ransom To His Fathers Kidnappers

The former Chelsea and Trabzonspor star revealed this while he was in an interview with Dubai Eye 103.8 Sport.

The former Super Eagles player’s father, Pa Michael Obi was abducted with his driver, Ishaya John, along the Markurdi – Enugu road in 2018.

The man and his driver were on their way from Jos North, the capital of Plateau State in Nigeria in a grey-colored Toyota Prado jeep.

The then Super Eagles midfielder said, he was informed of the abduction just 4 hours before Nigeria’s final World Cup match against Argentina in 2018.

Mikel also noted that he did received the shocking news while in transit with the Super Eagles to the match venue in St Petersburg, Russia.

He said that a family member reached out to him via a call to inform him of the ugly incident and also to call the kidnappers on a designated number.

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He eventually called the designated number and was ordered to pay an enormous amount in ransom – which he later confirmed that he paid.

He went on to explain that even though the ugly news was devastating to hear, he put it aside and focused on 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 stated.

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Mikel Obi Reveals He Paid Huge Ransom To His Fathers Kidnappers

However, his father and his driver were rescued days after by the Nigerian Police at around 2:30pm in Egede Udi forest of Enugu State.

In a statement, the Police confirmed that; “The abductors then started calling the families to demand a ransom of N10 million but the operatives acting on intelligence information swooped on them. A gun duel ensued which forced the hoodlums to abandon their victims inside the forest and they were promptly rescued.”

Mikel Obi spoke with the abductors that held his father four hours after bravely leading the Super Eagles against Argentina.

“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,” Mikel Obi concluded.

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Mikel Obi

Michael Nchekwube Obinna also known as Mikel John Obi was born on 22nd April 1987, he is a former professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder.

Mikel started his professional career with NPFL club Plateau United before he moved to Norwegian club Lyn at the age of 17 in 2004.

Mikel was the subject of a controversial transfer in 2006 with Manchester United claiming to have signed him after his move to Chelsea.

With Chelsea, he spent 11 years before moving to Chinese Super League club Tianjin TEDA in 2017.

After spending two years in China, he returned to England on a short-term deal with Middlesbrough, before moving to Trabzonspor on a free transfer in July 2019.

Mikel Obi Reveals He Paid Huge Ransom To His Fathers Kidnappers

Mikel did however moved back to England after signing for Stoke City in August 2020.

Mikel Obi is a former Nigerian player who played for the Super Eagles in a 14-year international career between 2005 and 2019 where he managed 6 goals.

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