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Exclusive: Obodo says kidnapping an inside job

Nigeria and Udinese midfielder Christian Obodo speaks about kidnapping ordeal

Posted: 11 June 2012 Time: 2:58 pm

Nigeria and Udinese midfielder Christian Obodo is relieved finally to reunite with his family and friends after his kidnapping, but exclusively tells KickOffNigeria.com that it was an 'inside job'.

Obodo was kidnapped on Saturday morning on his way to church at Effurun, near Warri, but rescued on Sunday night around Isoko, on the outskirts of the town.   He spoke exclusively to KickOffNigeria.com for the first time of the entire experience.

"I couldn't believe it. I was on my way to church and I had just parked my car when six boys, very young boys, just came to me and started ordering me to come with them.   "I told them to take it easy, that I would do what they say, and they took me to their car, blindfolded me and drove away. I asked where we were going, and they said Port Harcourt, then Benin, then Asaba.   "Instead, when they took off the blindfold, we were in a forest. That night, I slept on the ground.   "But they were very nice to me. They didn't touch me. They didn't take any of my jewellery or wallet or anything else. We were just talking like old friends. They assured me that nothing would happen to me.   "I even prayed with them.   "Then the next morning, they started to move again. It was later that I discovered that it was because the whole state had been covered by security operatives. They told me all the roads, even the rivers and creeks were being watched by security."   It was during his conversation with the kidnappers that he was told that someone close to him was involved.

"They said it was somebody close to me who set everything up. Someone that I have been helping. They said the person told them I would be in that church by 8am that morning. I couldn't believe it. But they asked how they would know my movement to go and wait for me there. I didn't know what to say."   Most kidnappings take at least a week to resolve, but one day was all it took in this case, and Obodo played his part.   "Five of them left to go and get the money, leaving me with one of them. But he later said we had to leave this place because the area was being monitored. He told me to promise him that I would not shout or run away. I told him I'd been cooperating since they took me and since they had promised to release me that day, I would do what he said.   "When we got to the town, he got a call informing him that two or three of them had been captured.   "I heard the other one telling him to take me back and tie me up in the forest.   _quote "At that point, I told myself I wasn't going back into that forest. So I told him that it's possible his people wanted to betray him, that they may have taken the money and run. I asked him to let me call my people to find out if the money had been picked up.   "He agreed, but said he did not have credit on his phone, so we would have to walk back into the village to buy airtime.   "As we were walking back to the village, we saw a group of people sitting around, so we stopped to ask for a recharge card. They said they didn't have it there.   "He now said we should move on to the next place. At that point, I pushed him and started running and screaming that I am Chris Obodo and that they should help.   "The people immediately gathered. Luckily, they also had some vigilante people around, they call them Black Beret, and they came and got me.   "The police were also nearby, because they had been tracking them through the phonecalls. That was when I started crying and giving thanks to God. That is how I got out."   Despite the trauma, Obodo says he has no immediate plans to stop returning home to Warri: "It won't stop me from going to Warri. That is where I have lived all my life. I'm a Warri boy and it's not like I go out anyhow.   "Whenever I come home, I play football, three-a-side, in my compound with my friends, I don't go out clubbing like I used to when I was much younger, so why should I stop coming?"   He did, however, admit that the experience will leave scars.   "When something like this happens, you learn a lot. It opened my eyes to a lot of things."   Obodo said he is grateful for the groundswell of support. "I just want to thank everybody. My family got a lot of calls, a lot of support, and we just want to thank everyone."   The midfielder is now a guest of Delta State governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who has now ordered round-the-clock security for him for the duration of the player's vacation in Nigeria. 

Article by: Colin Udoh

Previous comments on this story...

topstarz
posted: 04:01 pm
Kidnapping, Armed Robbery must always have an insider Oooo
TeellThemm
posted: 05:08 pm
I thought the police claim they are the one who rescue him in a commando style,Rubbish Police. Well that is your country for you, that's how far they have gone since Independence,Shame.
Naijaking
posted: 06:31 pm
I read about the kidnapping yesterday and was shocked that a member of Delta State F.A was criticizing Obodo for having a personalized License Plate number and not informing them in the F.A that he was visiting Delta.He also said he went to club,bought drinks for a lot of people and was showing off,he also said he was picked up on his way back from the club.That made me wonder when it became a crime to have a personalized number and if Obodo was the first to have taht.Judging from what that individual said about that incident,I woul not rule him out as a suspect.
Anonymous
posted: 08:37 pm
Hai jita your story sound too gud to be true in fact sounds like u were all drunk and end up sleeping in a forest
ola2014
posted: 09:03 pm
If Obodo is not a football player would he have been rescued that quickly? That is the 1 million dollar question. Unfortunately people have taken to doing anything to make money that was not the Nigeria I grew up in when you could walk or travel anywhere at any time without fear. We had a post office where you could receive mail, houses without barb wires and iron bars. The biggest thiefs were the police stopping taxes drivers and lorries to collect bribes. Now everybody is a potential thief. It is so sad that a lot of generations of Nigerians will grow up not knowing we were once like other developed countries where you dont have to fear go out.
Anonymous
posted: 10:01 pm
The whole story sounds cock and bull alright, me think that the police negotiated with the kidnappers and Obodo must have dropped a reasonable amount of money and was told to keep dumb as an apreciation to the police for their own role.
Dat Igbo boy
posted: 10:05 pm
@Naijaking, You crank me up with the ending "I woul not rule him out as a suspect" LOL.

After a hectic weeks of football in Africa the second games of the round two matches were played yesterday bringing to a halt of proceedings till next year for a possible place in Brazil 2014. as was expected some surprises were recorded as the so called heavy weight failed to dominate leaving the supposedly minors to lead the park in the their groups.

These is a run down of how the table stands from group A-J until hostilities resume in 22-March-2013.

GROUP A
Ethiopia: MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF3- GA1- GD+2- P4
Central A. REP. MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF2- GA2- GD+0- P3
South Africa MP2- W0- D2- L0- GF2- GA2- GD+0- P2
Botswana MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF1- GA3- GD_2- P1

GROUP B
Tunisia MP2- W2- D0- LO- GF5- GA2- GD+3- P6
Sierra Leone MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF4- GA3- GD+1- P4
Equato. Guinea MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF3- GA5- GD_2- P1
Cape V. Islands MP2- W0- D0- L2- GF2- GA4- GD_2- P0

GROUP C
Côte d'Ivoire MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF4- GA2- GD+2- P4
Tanzania MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF2- GA3- GD_1- P3
Morocco MP2- W0- D2- L0- GF3- GA3- GD+0- P2
Gambia MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF2- GA3- GD_1- P1

GROUP D
Sudan MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF2- GA0- GD+0- P4
Ghana MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF7- GA1- GD+6- P3
Zambia MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF1- GA2- GD_1- P3
Lesotho MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF0- GA7- GD_7- P1

GROUP E
Congo MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF1- GA0- GD+1- P4
Gabon MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF1- GA0- GD+1- P4
Burkina Faso MP2- W0- D1- L0- GF0- GA1- GD_1- P1
Niger MP2- W0- D1- L0- GF0- GA1- GD_1- P1

GROUP F
Nigeria MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF2- GA1- GD+1- P4
Namibia MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF1- GA1- GD+0- P3
Malawi MP2- W0- D2- L0- GF1- GA1- GD+0- P2
Kenya MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF0- GA1- GD_1- P1

GROUP G
Egypt MP2- W2- D0- L0- GF5- GA2- GD+3- P6
Guinea MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF3- GA3- GD+0- P3
Zimbabwe MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF0- GA1- GD_1- P1
Mozambique MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF0- GA2- GD_2- P1

GROUP H
Benin MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF2- GA1- GD+1- P4
Algeria MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF5- GA2- GD+3- P3
Mali MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF2- GA2- GD+0- P3
Rwanda MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF1- GA5- GD_4- P1

GROUP I
Libya MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF3- GA2- GD+1- P4
Congo DR MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF2- GA1- GD+1- P3
Cameroon MP2- W1- D0- L1- GF2- GA2- GD+0- P3
Togo MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF1- GA3- GD_2- P1

GROUP J
Senegal MP2- W1- D1- L0- GF4- GA2- GD+2- P4
Uganda MP2- W0- D2- L0- GF2- GA2- GD+0- P2
Angola MP2- W0- D2- L0- GF1- GA1- GD+0- P2
Liberia MP2- W0- D1- L1- GF1- GA3- GD_2- P1

I took out my time and pain to do this because of the mixed reactions of fans and supporters alike trailing the performance of our national pride the Super Eagles. as seen above among the top guns only Tunisia and Egypt has a 100% record while others like Ghana, Algeria, Mali and Cameroon failed to top their respective groups.

So in the light of this i would like to call on Nigerians to rally behind the SE and show that we are not just a fare weather fans but a real supporters (in good times and in bad times regardless of who his the coach) of our darling team, to make them regain their FEAR FACTOR once again.

TOGETHER WE WILL CONQUER THE WORLD AND RULE AFRICA AGAIN.
luise-hero
posted: 01:00 am
this story is full of emotion ,,thank GOD he was see alive
am really sad to see my Niger delta brothers behave this way to there own fellow Niger delta man

oh GOD help my country today Muslim killing and bombing innocent people tomorrow kidnappers what an ironing of life Nigeria need to change for real
Pirates is not 1 skipper team, you must show for the Zulu Ass
posted: 09:58 am
That's Nigeria for you. They take pride of Witchcraft, Violence, Kidnapping, and hide by Church, claim to be christians. Nigeria is changing to be Muslim, Arab world where suicide bombings makes a person proud. What do you expect from Drug Dealers, who have changed Hillbrow by luring innocent girls to prostitution through offering them drugs. We now have fake Churches in Gauteng where drugs are exchanged. Nxa.
Anonymous
posted: 12:49 pm
Thanks god this kind of lawlessness is not rife is South Africa.

Something must be done to help countries like Nigeria & Zimbabwe for their citizens to be tolerant to each other otherwise I see this developing into a tumor.
Tallman
posted: 09:46 am
To:TP
Ha ha dream on!!! in SOWETO u get FEMALE RAPISTS.

By the way, Im a Xhosa man (NDODA NDO!!!!) and married to a Nigerian Igbo woman. Just like LOYISO BALA (married to Jennifer Odjidja) Im loving Naija women. Dont with Xhosas the intermarriage with West Africans started with Xuma (married a Liberian wife), then Makeba, the Tabata's etc...

Stop opening a can of worms here!!!!!
BIKO LIVES!!!!!
Tallman
posted: 10:12 am
To:TP

Travelling is EDUCATION on its own meet different cultures learn alot. Then realise that every nation has its BAD PEOPLE.

BANYANA VS NIGERIA

Goalkeepers:
Precious Dede (Igbo speaker)
Tochukwu Oluehi (Igbo speaker)

Defenders:
Gloria Ofoegbu (Igbo speaker)
Ngozi Ebere (Igbo speaker)
Chidimma Okoro (Igbo speaker)
Onyinyechi Ohadugha (Igbo speaker)
Evelyn Nwabuiku (Igbo speaker)
Joy Jegede (Igbo speaker)
Gladys Akpa (Igbo speaker)
Regina McFancy (Rivers Angels),

Midfielders:
Stella Mbachu (Igbo speaker)
Rita Chikwelu (Igbo speaker)
Gloria Iroka (Igbo speaker)
Akudo Iwuagwu (Igbo speaker)
Esther Sunday ((Igbo speaker)

Attackers:
Amenze Aighewi (Igbo speaker)
Abosede Olukayode (Yoruba speaker)
Desire Oparanozie (Igbo speaker)
Shola Oyewusi (Yoruba speaker).

SOUTH AFRICA
Roxanne Barker (English/Germanic stock)
Nothando Vilakazi (Zulu)
Amanda Sister (Xhosa like me)
Refiloe Jane (Tswana)
Zamandosi Cele (Zulu)
Kylie-Ann Louw (Afrikaner/Dutch/Germanic stock)
Amanda Dlamini (Zulu)
Mary Ntsweng (Sotho)
Andisiwe Mgcoyi (Xhosa like me)
Noko Matlou (Pedi)
Portia Modise (Tswana).

All this knowledge comes traveling the GOD's earth and plenty of READING!!!Atleast I won against Verwoed's thoughts on BLACKS.

BIKO LIVES!!!!!!
Tallman
posted: 11:27 am
To:TP
Ha ha dream on!!! in SOWETO u get FEMALE RAPISTS.

By the way, Im a Xhosa man (NDODA NDO!!!!) and married to a Nigerian Igbo woman. Just like LOYISO BALA (married to Jennifer Odjidja) Im loving Naija women. Am not the only Xhosa to intermarry West Africans started with Xuma (married a Liberian wife), then Makeba, the Tabata's etc...

Stop opening a can of worms here!!!!!
BIKO LIVES!!!!!
Tallman
posted: 11:33 am
Nda again!!!!!
Sorry for my bad typing its COLD this side, starting to SNOW!!!!

Daalu!!!!!Im gone.
njiva
posted: 03:14 pm
What can u expectto stupid africans who always tried to let down their own brothers.As africans we need to emancipate our minds from chains of slavery.We need to respect our brothers as we respect Europeans or Americans.If Messi or Ronaldo visit our country we can take photos with them but we abjuce our own brothers.9gerians I know u love yor country but say no this kind of immoral behaviour as Africans we have spirit of ubuntu(humanity) our actions must reflect humanity.
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