By Sab Osuji
Enyimba Football Club on Monday March 23 issued an official statement confirming the abduction of one of their players, Ekundayo Ojo, a midfielder, Orient Sports reports.
The incident, the eight time Nigeria champions said, took place along the Benin-Owo expressway on Sunday, March 22 as the player journeyed to Akure to observe a break following the suspension of the Nigeria Professional Football League amid concerns over the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Ojo was in the company of his Enyimba teammate, Emmanuel James, as well as Benjamin Iluyomade, also a professional footballer when he was abducted.
While James escaped the attack, Iluyomade was captured alongside Ojo.
Enyimba FC has since maintained close contact with Ojo’s family, as efforts are already in place to ensure the player’s release from his abductors.
“At this time, and considering the sensitivity of the incident, Enyimba Football Club wishes to call on members of the media to refrain from reports or speculations capable of jeopardising the player’s safety”, the People’s Elephant said in the statement issued by Zazibariza Samuel on Monday.
“Ojo’s family also wishes to appeal for privacy while enjoining the general public to pray for the safety and freedom of the player”, the two time African champions concluded.
Dayo Ojo represented Nigeria at the U17s in 2010. He was a member of Sunshine Stars team that got to the semi finals of the CAF Confederations Cup in 2011 and the CAF Champions League in 2012.
The 25-year-old made the NPFL All Stars Team that visited Spain in 2016 where they participated in tournaments and friendly games against Valencia, Malaga and other Spanish clubs.
In 2018, Ekundayo Ojo made the final cut of the home base Super Eagles team than won silver medal in that year’s CHAN in Morocco after losing to the hosts 3-0 in the final.
He scored his first international goal in the CHAN Eagles 3-1 comeback win against Nzalang National of Equatorial Guinea at the Grande Stade Agadir in their last group fixture to seal a place in the quarter finals of the tournament.
He was voted as Most Valuable Player, MVP, of the match.