John Mikel Obi calls for greater security in Nigeria following father’s kidnapping

John Mikel Obi calls for greater security in Nigeria following father’s kidnapping

Mikel played against Argentina despite learning his father had been kidnapped hours earlier

Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi said the insecurity in the country is “scary” after his father was kidnapped for the second time in seven years.

Michael Obi and his driver were abducted at gunpoint on 26 June in Enugu but were released on Monday.

Mikel was told of his father’s capture four hours before playing in Nigeria’s 2-1 World Cup defeat by Argentina.

“For the second time I’ve had to live with the fears of losing my father and it is very scary,”

“Today it’s my dad but tomorrow it could be someone else which makes it very scary.”

Former Chelsea midfielder Mikel, who now plays for Chinese club Tianjin Teda, received a call from a family member while on the team bus to the St Petersburg Stadium, who told him he had to call the kidnappers on a designated number.

He did not confide in any of his team-mates or the Nigerian Football Federation before the match because he didn’t want it to be a distraction.

“We are seeing a spate of terror attacks in some parts of the country which has already sown insecurity among citizens,” he said.

“It does not matter what your status is in Nigeria, everyone deserves to feel safe and secured, as life becomes riskier than ever.”

Obi’s rescue was preceded by a gun battle between Nigerian police and the kidnappers, who then fled.

Super Eagles captain Mikel reportedly paid a ransom of 10 million naira (about £21,000) for his release, and his unhurt father is now “recuperating with family”.

It is the second time Mikel’s father has been kidnapped, with the first taking place in August 2011 while his son played for Chelsea.

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner wants the government to do more in terms of general security.

Olaniyi Eniolawun.