After two months in abduction, the mother of former Super Eagles striker and coach, Samson Siasia was finally released by her abductors early on Sunday morning.
Mrs Ogere Siasia had been in the kidnappers’ den but her son, Samson, in a message to some football writers on Sunday morning said she had finally been freed.
“I received a call from my wife this morning that my mom and others have been released. I am grateful to Nigerians for their prayers and to everyone that had a hand directly or indirectly in their release,” Siasia said.
Just last week, the former Super Eagles player had cried out to the BBC that the police in Bayelsa State where the kidnap took place were not in any way closer to finding her.
“The police said it’s been difficult to track these kidnappers, but my great concern is that my mother is very sick,” Siasia told BBC Sport last week.
“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,” Siasia said.
The news out of Bayelsa State on Sunday was a welcome one as the 76-year-old woman is now free.
She was kidnapped alongside two other, ten weeks ago with a huge ransom placed on her; a bounty that her son could not afford.
This will be the second time in four years that Ogere Siasia has been kidnapped, the other being in 2015 when she was held for about two weeks before her release in November 2015.
Siasia continued that with the release of his mother, he can now focus his attention on the FIFA issue.
“My mom is fine but she has to go for medical checkup. I can now shift focus to the FIFA issue,” Siasia said.
Siasia was recently banned for life accepting to fix matches. He has filed an appeal but has been distracted by the kidnap of his mother.
Samson Siasia played for Nigeria’s U20 National Team, the Flying Eagles in 1983 and 1985 and then played for the Super Eagles between 1987 and 1998, winning the AFCON bronze in 1992 and gold in 1994.
As a coach, he won the Olympic silver in 2008 and the bronze in 2016. He had earlier finished 2nd in the FIFA U20 World Cup in 2005.
As an active footballer, he played 51 times for Nigeria, scoring 16 goals, his most famous being against Argentina at the World Cup in 1994.