Gunmen, who robbed players of Adamawa United Football Club and kidnapped the team’s driver, Alhaji Kabiru, have contacted the team’s management, demanding N50 million ransom.
Vice-chairman of the Yola-based side, Abdullahi Abdulkadir, confirmed this to newsmen yesterday.
Abdulkadir said the abductors called him on phone around 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and demanded N50 million as ransom.
According to him, “It is true that our team was attacked on Friday night. The gunmen took their phones and feeding money away.
“They called me this morning and demanded N50M as ransom to release our driver, Alhaji Kabiru who was abducted,” Abdulkadir said.
However, there have been conflicting reports on the exact time the players were attacked.
While some said it was at about 11:30pm, others said it was around 6:30am same Friday.
Our correspondent gathered that the players and officials of the team were robbed on Benin-Ore expressway on their way to honour the Match day 11 fixture of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) against MFM FC in Lagos.
Abdulkadir stated that several efforts had been made to get in touch with the commissioner for youths and sports, the permanent secretary, nd chairman House of Assembly committee on sports.
“I’ve put calls through to the commissioner and informed him of the development. We are waiting for a response from them and see how we can secure the release of Kabiru,” Abdulladir hinted.
Another member of the coaching crew, Ngati Bilham told our reporter he couldn’t travel with the team for lack of enough money for all of them to travel.
Adamawa United had been in the news of late for reasons ranging from team’s dismal performance in the ongoing NPFL due to poor funding and management.
Just last week, a player of the club fainted during a league match allegedly due to poor feeding. And it was learnt there was no doctor at hand to treat him, though he survived.
As it stands, the team is still stranded as they await the state government’s directive that will aid the release of their driver.
Recounting his experience, a player of the team, Sadiq Lawan, told newsmen on phone “the gunmen opened fire on their bus forcing the driver to stop.”
About eight of them came out from the bush and started shooting into the air. They ordered us out of the bus, took our money and phones. It was later we found out that our driver was taking away.
“We have returned to Benin City at the checkpoint, while the coach has gone to the police station. I don’t know if the Edo FA has been contacted”.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youths and Sports, Alhaji Aliyu Jada, confirmed the attack and that the kidnappers have contacted the team manager and have given us 24 hours to produce N20 million before the driver would be released.