Chelsea Midfielder John Obi Mikel’s Father Abducted in Nigeria


The father of long-time Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has been kidnapped in central Nigeria, but no ransom demand has yet been made.

The Associated Press reports that Michael Obi has not been seen since leaving work at 6 p.m. on Friday evening, according to federal police spokesman Olusola Amore. Plateau State police commissioner Emmanuel Dipo Ayeni told the AP that he disappeared from Jos, the capital of Plateau State, where Mikel was born.

The 24-year-old soccer player took to television on Monday to plead for his father's safe return.

"I have always tried to help the country in every way I can, playing for the country, serving the country. This is the time for the country to help me in this situation," Mikel told Sky Sports News. "I am just going to say, whoever has got my dad, whoever knows where my dad is, should please contact me and hopefully he should be released."

Despite the incident, Mikel still played in his team's match against Stoke City.

"Mikel was informed by his manager prior to the Stoke v Chelsea match and decided to play so as not to let down his team and family," Sport Entertainment and Media Group, Mikel's management company, said on Twitter.

Plateau State has had thousands of casualties over recent years due to religious and ethnic violence protesting mostly political and economic issues. Still, the kidnappings in the state pale in comparison to those in southern Nigeria, where foreigners are often kidnapped for a ransom.

In June, Forbes magazine listed Mikel as the seventh highest-paid African player playing in Europe at $5.8 million a year.

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