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Ijaw youths blast military over killing of Shooting Stars defender, Joseph Izu

The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, has strongly condemned the military for reportedly killing Joseph Izu, a defender with the Shooting Stars of Ibadan, Oyo State.

Izu was reportedly killed by soldiers of 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, at Okarki, a border community in Ahoada East Local Government Area of Rivers State, at a close range.



Reacting to the killing, the IYC in a statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare, said the response of the military that the late footballer was found in the wrong place at a cultist’s shrine was unacceptable.

The group said the excuse offered by the Nigerian military was watery, provocative and insensitive to the family of Joseph Izu, who lost their beloved one and their community members.

It said, “Assuming without conceding that Joseph Izu was found in a cultists’ shrine, the IYC is not aware of any Nigerian law which empowers military officers to shoot and kill anybody found in a shrine.

“The reason given by the military commander, Brig.-Gen. Hamisu Hassan, that the late footballer was found in the wrong place was a weak effort at justifying the murder of Izu.



“In any case, to put the records straight, the late Joseph Izu was not found in any cultists’ shrine but was shot dead in front of his family compound and dragged to the Okarki waterfront.”

The IYC challenged the Nigerian military to a guided tour with members of the media to the cultists’ shrine in Okarki community wherein the late Izu was killed, insisting that there was no such shrine in the community.

The group added, “To add salt to injury, the Nigerian military confirmed that military officers killed Joseph Izu but did not even offer apology to the family of the deceased.

“Brig. Gen. Hassan in his statement said that they are investigating what Izu was doing in the cultist’ shrine instead of investigating and bringing to justice the military officers who perpetrated this criminal and despicable act.”

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