Kidnapping for ransom has been frequent recently, especially in southern states, where wealthier residents and foreign oil workers have often been abducted.
Relatives of high-profile sports figures have been targeted repeatedly by gangs.
The father of then national team skipper John Mikel Obi was abducted last year in southeastern Enugu state before a ransom was paid for his release.
Siasia, who also served in the Nigerian Football Federation, was last month hit by a life ban by the sport’s world governing body FIFA after its ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection to match fixing.
FIFA on Friday banned former Nigeria Football Federation official Samson Siasia for life after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing.
In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.
The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.
Thank you @FIFAcom for the recognition of Jay Jay Okocha on his Birthday. Soo good they named him twice. Bolton Wanderers FC will never forget your Magic. @NGSuperEagles of Nigeria will forever be grateful for those wonderful display of football artistry of yours. Thank You JJ.
“Nearly a month since the woman’s kidnap on July 15 at her country home at Odoni in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state, the old woman is still languishing in the hands of her abductors,” the group said.
It added, “This should not happen to anyone, talk less of an aged mother of Coach Siasia who brought joy to millions of Nigerians and Bayelsans as a player and a tactician donning the national colors, bringing glory to the country.”
The group called on the kidnappers to release Madam Ogere unconditionally and reunite her with her loved ones.
They also urged security agencies and the government to act swiftly and efficiently to ensure the release of the woman and others being held against their will.
“No sane society develops with individuals held against their will, with the perpetrators of this unconscionable act getting away scot-free.
“The pain and trauma the Siasia family is going through are better imagined than experienced,” the statement said.
SWAN in Bayelsa called on the relevant agencies to be alive to their responsibilities of safeguarding the lives of every citizen and bring to a halt criminal activities such as kidnapping in the country.
Following the kidnap of the former Super Eagles striker and coach, the Bayelsa State Police Command said it was working in collaboration with other security agencies to apprehend the suspects and rescue the victim.
“On 15 July, 2019 at about 0200hours, unknown gunmen who were heavily armed came through the waterways of the River Nun and invaded the residence of one Mrs Beauty Siasia, ‘f’ 80 years in the riverine village of Odoni, Sagbama Local Government Area, Bayelsa State and whisked her away through the waterways to an unknown destination,” the statement said.
According to Butswat, the Commissioner of Police in the state and the command’s Tactical Team has visited the scene of the crime.
He noted that the police in collaboration with other security agencies have launched a manhunt to apprehend the suspects and rescue the victim.
The Chief Executive Officer of the firm handling the renovation of the Samson Siasia Stadium project, Ebi Egbe has applauded the Bayelsa State Governor for his dedication and commitment towards the timely completion of the stadium ahead of the 2017 football season.
Ebi Egbe then disclosed that his firm is working round the clock to ensure that the stadium is ready for Bayelsa teams to use early next year.
Egbe, whose firm Monimichelle has Italy-based Limota franchise to build Geo-technology pitches in Africa, said Dickson deserves commendation for taking steps to see Bayelsa teams return home.
“As we speak, I am 100% sure Bayelsa teams won’t continue to play outside Yenagoa from next season. The Samson Siasia Stadium turf is 90% ready.
“Governor Dickson wants to see the place ready even this December. He (the Governor) deserves plaudits for all that he is doing to turn things around in Bayelsa sports.
“The beauty of what Dickson is doing is that he wants to put sports facilities in place in every nook and cranny of the state,” he said.
Over the years, Bayelsa-based clubs have been playing football outside their base due to the non-availability of a suitable football turf.
Egbe then reassured Bayelsans that the Samson Siasia Stadium turf would be one of the best pitches in Africa when completed.
“What we are doing in Yenagoa is world class. It would be one of the best turfs in Africa when completed. Anybody who has seen the soft base and the amount of work that has gone into it, would agree that we are on course,” Egbe assured.
According to him, former Super Eagles coach, Samson Siasia has expressed delight over the quality of work at the arena and expressed pleasure as the stadium is named in his honour.
Nigeria’s Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, has cleared the air on his interview with the Voice of America, Hausa Service where he was reported to have said the Super Eagles do not need to attend the 2018 World Cup since they can’t win the trophy.
Mr Dalung said that the interview which he granted four months ago was misinterpreted, insisting he has total confidence in the team to pick the sole tick in their group for Russia 2018.
He said that the interview was edited midway into a more comprehensive conversation and the act has sent a misconception about his commitment to the ongoing World Cup campaign.
“The statement was taken out of context. It was part of a comprehensive interview I granted four months ago when I was reacting to the status of African nations in global competitions and also football administration globally. Where do we stand?
“The question also was that whether Nigeria or any African country is likely going to host the World Cup. My reaction was what was captured.
“Unfortunately, the interview did not avail those who listened the complete narrative so that they can benefit from the background with which the response was taken,” he explained.
He maintained that the Nigerian government and the Ministry of Sport remain committed to ensuring that Nigeria re-positions itself as a global player in football and lead other African countries to the top of the game.
He urged Nigerians to support the Super Eagles to ensure that they do not lose the momentum that is in their favour in the 2018 World Cup qualifying series.
He added that his selfless contributions so far in Super Eagles’s quest for qualification, particularly ahead of the away win in Zambia, contradicts the impression that he was not in support of the team.
The Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, says he has not been officially informed of the appointment of a new foreign coach for the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The NFF had in early August, appointed a German, Gernot Rohr, to manage the Eagles, despite Mr Dalung’s preference for a local coach.
He claimed that Coach Samson Siasia, who led the Nigeria’s U-23 football team to win a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, had not resigned, contrary to media reports, although his contract with the NFF had lapsed.
Siasia had told reporters that he had on August 27 resigned as the coach of Nigeria’s U-23 football team because of what he describes as “a disrespectful system”.
Mr Dalung’s frowned at the treatment meted to Siasia by the NFF, alleging that they withdrew his official car in Abuja while he was battling to secure a medal for Nigeria in Rio.
While hinting that he had met with Siasia on Monday, he said Nigeria needed him in football development.
The Sports Minister further pointed out that even if the NFF would not re-engage him, the Federation should at least, give him some peace of mind to enable him make his contributions in a personal capacity.
He noted that it would be sad to have such coach leave Nigeria for another country out of frustration, just like many athletes did as witnessed during the Rio Olympics.
Abysmal Outing Of Team Nigeria
Dalung also cleared the air on the $390,000 donation to Siasia and his team by a Japanese surgeon, saying that after he met the donor in Rio, he was convinced there were no strings like match-fixing attached to the donation.
He attributed the abysmal outing of the Nigerian Olympic contingent to late release of funds and inability to develop home-grown talents.
The Minister emphasised the need for the National Sports Commission which he said was unfortunately scrapped by a government committee that recommended merger of ministries.
He was at the State House on Tuesday in Abuja to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigeria’s outing at the just concluded Olympics in Rio, Brazil.
Since Team Nigeria were able to win bronze medal in football, Mr Dalung urged the President to host the team.