Kidnapped Rivers Utd Boss Stanley Eguma Regains Freedom

Rivers United manager Stanley Eguma has regained his freedom three days after he was kidnapped.

Club GM Okey Kpalukwu confirmed the news of Eguma’s release late on Thursday but did not reveal details of how his release was secured.

Eguma was reportedly abducted by yet-to-be-identified persons around Enugu on Tuesday as he returned with his team from Sunday’s matchday 27 fixture against Adamawa United in Gombe.

He was in a different vehicle from the players and had been travelling with his assistants when he was taken around Enugu a club source who asked to be unnamed because they weren’t authorised to speak on the matter told

Following Eguma’s abduction, the Enugu State Police Command issued a statement assuring his assailants will be tracked down and his freedom secured as soon as possible.

Kidnapping has been on the rise in Nigeria with football figures – who are perceived as well off and thus a lucrative source of ransoms – increasingly targeted as a restive population resort to crime in the face of worsening economic hardship and burgeoning youth unemployment.

Enyimba midfielder Dayo Ojo and Abia Comets player Benjamin Iluyomade were kidnapped in March 2020 and spent three days in captivity before they were rescued by police.

In 2007, former international Onyekachi Apam was abducted by armed men and in 2018, an elder brother of former Eagles captain and coach Joseph Yobo was abducted and held for ten days in Port Harcourt.

Former Super Eagles captain Mikel Obi’s father was kidnapped in Jos during the 2018 FIFA World Cup with the incident relayed to Obi just hours before he took to the field against Argentina.

In 2019, the mother of Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu was abducted by unknown persons in Aba, Abia State before being released after six days.

Katsina United head coach Abdullahi Biffo was kidnapped and released in January 2019.

Bordeaux winger Samuel Kalu’s mother was also captured and held for six days in March 2019.

Former Eagles midfielder and coach Samson Siasia has seen his mother Mrs Beauty Ogere kidnapped on several occasions the latest which occurred on 15 July 2019 in Sagbama, Bayelsa.

She was eventually released three weeks after a one and a half million naira ransom payment was made to her abductors.