Jul 09, 2008

Ogoni: Footballer’s Brother Kidnapped

Sample ImageIn a series of oil-related kidnappings for ransoms, Ogoni footballer Joseph Yobo’s brother was abducted over the weekend.

Below is an article published by Afriquenligne :

With the police admitting no clues yet on the kidnapping of the elder brother of Nigerian football star Joseph Yobo, his family has appealed to the kidnappers to free their son unharmed. A spokesman for the family, Mr. Albert Yobo, said Tuesday the family had been traumatised by the abduction of Norum Yobo, saying his release would help remove the trauma.

Norum was abducted while he was returning from a night club in Port Harcourt, capital of Rivers state in the restive Niger Delta region, in the early hours of Saturday [5 July 2008].

Three days later, spokesperson for the Rivers state police command, Rita Abbey, said no group has claimed responsibility for the abduction and that no ransom demand had been made.

Joseph Yobo, who plays for the Nigerian national team and the English premiership side Everton, was in the commercial city of Lagos when his brother was kidnapped.

But indications are that he has travelled abroad, perhaps to avoid the pressure from the media over the abduction.

Earlier, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) had condemned the abduction and called for an unconditional release of Norum.

The Yobos are from the Ogoni ethnic group in Rivers state, which became famous due to the environmental campaign of its prominent son - Ken Saro-Wiwa - who was executed in 1995 by the administration of the late military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha.

Abduction for ransom has become a regular occurrence in the oil region, but most of those kidnapped are usually released unharmed after the payment of ransom.

The government has blamed the rise in abductions on criminal elements seeking to extort money from prominent individuals and organisations, saying their antics had nothing to do with the campaign by some militant groups for a larger slice of the country's petroleum funds.