Gunmen kidnap mother of Nigerian Olympic football team coach

The coach and his team arrived Gambia last weekend.

Abuja: Gunmen have abducted the mother of Nigeria's Under-23 football team coach Samson Siasia at her home in the oil-rich state of Bayelsa, local police said.

The gunmen, who stormed Odoni community in Sagama district of the state on motorbikes, on Tuesday whisked away the 72-year-old Madam Ogere Siasia in the early hours of the day, state police spokesman, Ansinim Butswat, told Xinhua by telephone.

Investigation into the kidnap has commenced, the police officer said, adding so far, the kidnappers had not demanded a ransom from the victim's family.

In a brief chat with Xinhua, the Nigerian U-23 coach, who is right now in Gambia on national duty, made a solemn appeal to the kidnappers to free his mom.

"What do they expect from me? I do not have money, I am right now on national duty, and need all the time to concentrate on this very important national task. So, I beg them to, please, release my mother so that I can concentrate on this task of qualifying the U-23 national team for the men's football event of the Rio Olympics," said Siasia.

The coach and his team arrived Gambia last weekend.

Kidnapping -- often for ransom -- is one of the major security problems in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation. It is more frequent in the oil-rich region of the country.

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