Igbo protest against killing of kinsmen in Bayelsa



Hundreds of Igbo traders yesterday took to the streets in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, in protest against what they called the incessant killing of Igbo businessmen by gunmen suspected to be armed robbers and hired assassins.

The protesting traders, who said they were not safe anymore in the state, were particularly irked by the gruesome murder of a businessman, Agodo Martins, by yet to be unidentified gunmen at his Yenagoa residence in the early hours of Monday.

The hoodlums were said to have broken into the house in a suspected armed robbery attempt.

The deceased was said to have told his assailants that there was no cash at home because shops in the capital city had been shut down, in honour of the late former governor of the state, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was buried on Saturday.

Not satisfied, the gunmen were said to have shot and killed Martins in cold blood in the presence of his new wife, whom he weeded few months ago.

Peeved by the killing, the traders led by the President, Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), Chinedu Arthur-Ugwa, took to the streets in protest, as they lamented that Martins was killed a few days after gunmen suspected to be assassins, had murdered another successful Igbo businessman, whose name was given as Ugochukwu.

It was gathered that Ugochukwu was killed along the Azikoro village on his way home after the day’s business.

Eyewitness account said, “He was close to his house in company of his wife, when gunmen operating in commercial tricycles blocked his car. They dragged him out of the car and forced into the tricycle.

“His corpse was discovered the next day at the Azikoro cemetery with his hands and legs tied up.”

The traders also narrated how another businessman was gruesomely murdered at the Tombia area, adding that others were being harassed and injured by arm-bearing youths on regular basis.

The protestants were received by the state Commissioner of Police, Peter Ogunyawo.
Presenting their grievances, spokesman Arthur-Ugwa said, they were at the commissioner’s office so that the police could intervene in their plight. The “Igbo is no longer safe in Bayelsa. Gunmen are killing us. One was killed at Azikoro, the other one was killed at Tombia, and today another one who just got married was killed in cold blood,” he said.

Ogunyawo in his response told the grieving traders that crimes exist everywhere and were not targeted at the Igbo.
He said death is one debt everybody must pay and that nobody knows how it would be paid.

He however, promised that the state command was doing everything possible to check the crime wave in the state, and asked the traders to furnish the police with information that could assist them to be more effective.

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