Siasia Vows To ‘Roast’ Mali Eagles For Dinner
As Kidnappers Free Mother
COACH of Nigeria’s U-23 team, Samson Siasia, was in celebration mood yesterday, when news filtered into the team’s camp in Senegal that his 72-year-old-mother, Madam Beauty Siasia, had been freed by kidnappers, 13 days after she was abducted at her resident in Odoni community, Sagbama LGA of Bayelsa State.
According to the Spokesman of Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, Madam Beauty was dropped on the highway of the East-West road in the early hours of yesterday (about 0130hrs), due to hot pursuit by the Anti-Kidnapping Unit.
The police spokesman did not disclose if any ransom was paid to secure her release, but said the woman is hale and hearty and has been reunited with her family.
The kidnappers had initially demanded N150 million, but subsequently reduced it to N50 million, and N35 million for her release.
An elated Siasia declared yesterday that his mother’s release was a big relief to him, adding that he would do everything possible to put smile on faces of Nigerians in the on-going Rio 2016 Olympics qualifiers in Senegal as a perfect way to “thank them for their love.”
Siasia’s first test comes up this afternoon, as he lead the U-23 Eagles in their first Group match against the Eagles of Mali.
Speaking with BBC Sports yesterday, Siasia said: “It’s been a crazy two weeks, but I would like to say thank you to the NFF and everyone involved in the safe return of my mother. We’ve already spoken and she’s happy to be home. “Now I can completely focus on the business here, doing well at this tournament would be a perfect way to thank Nigerians for their love.”
Sports men, and mostly footballers’ families are increasingly becoming targets for kidnapping in Southern Nigeria for ransom.
A day after Siasia’s mother was kidnapped, a board member of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Prof. Ken Anugweje, was abducted by gunmen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He was released some days later.
On December 31, 2007, defender, Onyekachi Apam, was kidnapped in Enugu by armed men, who took his car before he was set free.
Nornu Yobo, elder brother of Super Eagles captain, Joseph Yobo, was kidnapped in 2008 in Port Harcourt and was released after 10 days, but it was never made clear whether a ransom was paid.
Former Eagles midfielder, Christian Obodo, was abducted in Warri in June 2012 and was rescued by the police 24 hours later.
A year earlier, the father of Super Eagles midfielder, John Obi Mikel was kidnapped in Jos.