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Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Mikel John Obi's family make first contact with father's kidnappers
The abductors of the father of Chelsea's Nigeria international midfielder Mikel John Obi have made contact with his family but are yet to issue a specific ransom demand.
Two calls were apparently made on Tuesday, the first of which confirmed Michael Obi is alive and well but had been moved out of the city of Jos to Lagos.
The second, made a few hours later, indicated the location of the car Obi Snr had been driving when he was kidnapped having left work last Friday evening. That vehicle has since been recovered by police in Plateau province, with the family now liaising closely with the authorities in anticipation of receiving a third call detailing how much money the abductors are demanding to release their hostage.www.mannastores.com
"Some people called my mum informing her that they have her husband in custody," Ebele Obi, Mikel's elder brother, said. "My mum, while crying, pleaded with the abductors to release her husband. They asked her to go and look for money but declined to state how much. But we have heard our father's voice. At least we now know that he is alive. The family is happy, relieved but still we plead with the abductors to release our father."
Tony Obi, Michael's eldest son, said: "We got two calls from the abductors who confirmed that our father is in their custody. They told me where to locate my dad's car, which has been found, but I do not want to disclose the location for now."
Mikel played all 90 minutes of Sunday's goalless draw with Stoke City having been informed by the manager, André Villas-Boas, of his father's disappearance some 24 hours earlier.
Only one of his team-mates, Salomon Kalou, knew of the incident as the game kicked off at the Britannia Stadium, with Chelsea's players having since expressed their support for the 24-year-old now that the news has become public. Mikel does not envisage returning home to Nigeria as yet and is available for Saturday's game with West Bromwich Albion.