The federal government has condemned the kidnapping of Pa Michael John Obi, father of the Super Eagles’ Captain John Mikel Obi.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, said the emotional and psychological trauma caused the player and his father was unimaginable.
He said on the night of Super Eagles’ Group D encounter with Argentina at the ongoing World Cup in Russia, Obi received the news of his father’s kidnap by hoodlums along the Makurdi-Enugu road on their way from Jos but still went ahead to play for the country.
The Minister commended the former Chelsea star for his show of patriotism during the match following his courageous display of loyalty to the country despite the sad news of his father’s abduction.
Dalung described Mikel as a brave player who did not allow the sad news to distract him from putting in his best for the country while thanking the Nigerian Police for rescuing the father.
His words: “It is very unfortunate that on the night Mikel Obi was playing for Nigeria, kidnappers decided to emotionally traumatize the young man by kidnapping his father. I can imagine what was going on in his mind while he was playing for the country knowing that his father was unsafe somewhere in the kidnappers’ hideout.
“It is disheartening to know that on the night the players were putting in their best to qualify Nigeria for the second round of the World Cup, evil men had in captivity, the father of one of the team’s greatest players.
“We salute Mikel Obi for his courage during the game and pray for the father’s quick recovery and stability from the trauma.
“I also thank the Nigerian Police for their quick response to the incident and their prompt rescue of Pa Michael John Obi,” Dalung said.