Sports minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung has given Tianjin Teda of China midfielder, John Mikel Obi a pat on the back for staying calm and committed to the Super Eagles even when his father was kidnapped last week.
The incident, which is the second time Pa Michael Obi Snr would be abducted by gunmen, took place few hours to the Eagles’ last group match against Argentina at the 2018 World Cup, and Dalung says Mikel showed great patriotism by going ahead to play the game.
Dalung, said the emotional and psychological trauma caused the player and his father was unimaginable, and commended the former Chelsea star for his courageous display and show of loyalty to the country despite first hearing the sad news of his father’s abduction.
Dalung described Mikel as a brave player who did not allow the news to distract him from putting in his best for the country and thanked the Nigerian Police for rescuing Pa Obi.
“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 Nigeria Police for their quick response to the incident and their prompt rescue of Pa Michael John Obi,” Dalung concluded.