Former Nigeria midfielder Christian Obodo is traumatised after he was kidnapped within the nation’s oil-rich Delta state for the second time in eight years.
The 36-year-old, who spent over a decade within the Italy’s Serie A, was dragged from his automobile by unknown gunmen on Sunday after parking to purchase fruit within the southern metropolis of Warri.
“I used to be forcefully taken at gunpoint on refinery street not too removed from my home, blindfolded and compelled into the passenger seat of my automobile,” Obodo instructed BBC Sport Africa, as he revealed dramatic particulars of his seizure.
“They began punching me and one among them threatened to shoot me within the head if I do not keep calm and quiet, it was at this level that I defined to them who I used to be and doubtless not who they have been searching for.
“Certainly one of them recognised my title because the footballer, that was once I knew I wasn’t focused, however randomly picked up by these guys.
“It was actually traumatising as a result of the motives have been unclear and being subjected to a different abduction may be very merciless.
“They took my diamond earrings, wrist watch, necklace and demanded for cash, however I instructed them I solely had my financial institution playing cards.”
To make issues even worse for Obodo he was locked within the boot of his automobile as his abductors determined to empty his account.
“I used to be stored in my boot for greater than 4 hours. They began emptying my accounts utilizing my two limitless playing cards,” he mentioned.
“They have been driving me to completely different locations, I did not even know we have been nonetheless in Delta State. You’ll be able to inform they’re extremely skilled in these card transactions.
“They have been taking out money endlessly and took their time with completely different transactions by eradicating limitless money while I used to be locked up in my boot.
“After they realised they could not take out extra cash they drove me right into a darkish spot, the place I used to be dumped later that night time and was allowed to go away.”
It’s the second time the previous Perugia, Lecce and Fiorentina participant has been kidnapped in his hometown, with the primary happening in June 2012 whereas he performed for Udinese.
Obodo mentioned whereas this newest incident was random, the trauma has left him damaged and feeling unsafe in his nation.
“It is unhappy to say that I not really feel secure anymore,” he instructed BBC Sport.
“Simply to park on the street to purchase my mom apple and water melon, solely to be seized at gunpoint.
“Think about travelling on the street the place you’re on their lonesome. So much needs to be performed with safety throughout the nation for residents to really feel secure.
“I could have misplaced cash and issues cash should purchase, however now I worry that someday one may lose his life to gun-wielding individuals who would possibly kill you for not having something they need.”
Historical past of abduction
Kidnappings – extra usually of oil employees, the wealthy and well-known – are a daily incidence in Nigeria, however footballers and their households are more and more being focused.
In March 2019, the mom of Nigeria worldwide Samuel Kalu was launched after being held by gunmen for six days.
It got here nearly a yr after former Chelseas and Nigeria midfielder John Mikel Obi’s father was kidnapped for the second time in seven years in June 2018, earlier than being launched after a ransom of 10 million naira (about $27,500) was paid.
Again in 2007, France-based defender Onyekachi Apam was kidnapped by armed males who took his automobile earlier than releasing him.
A yr later, the elder brother of Everton defender Joseph Yobo was kidnapped in oil-rich Port Harcourt earlier than being launched 10 days later.