Sports Minister Contacts Siasia Over Mum’s Kidnap

Nigeria’s minister of sports, Sunday Akinlabi Dare says he has contacted former Super Eagles’ striker and head coach, Samson Yebowei Siasia, in order get to the root of the long-drawn matter of the ex-international’s mother’s abduction by kidnappers in Beyalsa State.
With five weeks having gone by, without the release of Siasia’s aged mother, many Nigerians are getting worked up over the matter, and several agitated demands were this week made for the federal government to wade into the issue and ensure her release, for which Dare disclosed that he has opened a line of communication with the star and moves for a resolution are already on.
The minister took to social media to reveal steps being taken in that direction, but he admitted in his post that he had to be in New York, USA on official duty, before which he said he actually also reached out to get direct information from Siasia, who he has not been able to meet face-to-face to discuss the matter; though a line of communication has been opened between them.
Dare stated: “I just arrived New York and noted conversations around SiaSia. I recall he came to visit me but I was unavailable. I subsequently sent him a sorry note to which he responded. The relevant agencies are at work. We hope they yield results as they have on many previous occasions.”
The minister’s words come hot on the heels of a report that Siasia has raised fresh alarm that he does know where his mother is at present, following the abduction of the 76-year-old Mrs Ogere Siasia and two other people from the same community in Bayelsa State ten weeks ago.

The former national team player, who recently filed an appeal against a life ban for match-fixing, imposed on him by world football governing body, FIFA, lamented that the Nigerian police are no closer to finding his mother, whose abduction is the second in four years, after she was similarly held by gunmen for 12 days in November 2015.

Siasia, who scored 16 goals in over 50 appearances for the Eagles, further stated that he has had little contact with his mother and moaned that he is facing such agony, after serving Nigerian meritoriously as a player and coach.

Although the top brass of Bayelsa State Police Command said they are working hard to rescue the ex-international’s mum unharmed, the former Julius Berger FC of Lagos, Flash Flamengoes of Benin City, El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri, FC Nantes of France and SK Lokeren of Belgium star confessed that he is feeling the pain of his mum’s long absence and needs government’s support.

Siasia told BBC Sport: “The police said it’s been difficult to track these kidnappers, but my great concern is that my mother is very sick. For someone who is unwell to be held against her will is not only callous, but heartbreaking and sad.

“So I can only keep appealing to these guys to please let my mother go. I would like for the government or whoever is capable to help me bring my mother back. What more can I do but plead for assistance from the government, police and my country that I served as a player and coach.

“My mother is seriously sick and this bothers me a lot. I don’t know where or who to turn to at this point. I’ve not had a job for three years, battling with a Fifa ban appeal and to have my sick mother in the hands of kidnappers, I just feel extremely tired.”

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