John Obi Mikel, the former captain of the Nigerian national football team, has shared the ordeal he faced when his father, Pa Michael Obi, was kidnapped. Mikel was preparing to lead the Super Eagles in a game against Argentina during the 2018 World Cup in Russia when he received news of his father’s abduction. Despite the shocking news, he put his emotions aside and led the team to victory, showing a high level of patriotism.
Mikel recently revealed in an interview with Dubai Eye 103.8 Sport that he had to pay a significant amount of money to secure his father’s release from the kidnappers. He recounted how a family member advised him to call the kidnappers on a designated number and pay the ransom they demanded. The kidnappers threatened to shoot Mikel’s father if he reported the incident to the authorities or discussed it with anyone.
Mikel admitted that the experience was traumatic, but he did not want to let down the 180 million Nigerians who were counting on him to lead the team to victory. He did not even inform the coach or NFF staff, and only a small circle of his friends knew about the incident.
The kidnappers were demanding a ridiculous amount of money, and in the end, Mikel had to pay a crazy sum to secure his father’s release. Even now, he still goes through the traumatic experience and sometimes gets flashbacks. He has not told his young children about the incident, but he plans to share the story with them when they grow up.