Chelsea star Mikel makes appeal for information about ‘kidnapped’ father

CHELSEA midfielder John Obi Mikel last night made an impassioned plea for the safe return of his father, who has been missing from his Nigerian home in a case of suspected kidnapping since Friday.

Mikel (right), who chose to play in Sunday’s Premier League opener against Stoke despite learning of his father Michael’s disappearance the previous day, made an appeal for information on television.

“Please just let him go. He’s just an old man, he hasn’t done any harm to anyone as far as I know and I don’t know why he has been taken,” said the 24-year-old. “Nigeria is the country I am from, I’ve always tried to help my country in any way I can. This is a time where I need the country to help me.”

No ransom demand has been received by Mikel since his father, who runs a transport company, failed to return home on Friday evening. Mikel’s family are based in his native Jos, the capital of Plateau State, an area he said he considered safe.

“I think this happens a lot in the eastern part of Nigeria, but I think my dad will be the first this happened to in the north,” he added.

Fellow Nigerian Joseph Yobo, the Everton defender, had his brother kidnapped in 2008. He was returned after 10 days.