The father of late Shooting Stars of Ibadan player Izu Joseph has narrated how his son was shot and killed by military operatives in Bayelsa State.
Ruben Izu in a chat with an online new medium in Nigeria revealed that his son who is on holiday in his hometown in Bayelsa state, South West Nigeria was gunned down after coming out of the bathroom.
“Eye witnesses at the scene narrated to me how he was killed and it is very painful for me as his father,” a tearful Rueben told Naijafootball247.com.
“He is a professional footballer who just ended the season and he decided to spend some time with his wife and daughter in the village.
“As is usual in the village, he went to take his bath in the jetty which is a common place to go in the village to have a bath.
“As he was taking his bath and wanting to come out he heard gunshots and began to run like every other person there.”
The story continues that Joseph Izu ran into a soldier who shot him before he could explain anything.
As he fell to the ground, he cried out to the soldier that he was not a criminal but a professional football, even showing him an Identity card that he had in his wallet, but the soldier shot at him again.
“What bothered me the most was that my son was treated like a criminal? If he had committed any crime, wouldn’t he have been caught an arrested all the while he was at Shooting Stars playing?
“What happened to due process? Why cut short a young life?” Rueben Izu asked.
Rueben Izu continued that the soldiers at the scene used his sons phone to make a video of him battling with his life before they pushed him back into the river and then they left the scene.
He reportedly swam out and was rushed to the nearest hospital who could not remove the bullets and he died on his way to a bigger hospital in Yenagoa.
“What I want to know is the crime my son committed? What would they kill him like that? Rueben said.
“We need to curb these extra judicial killings. Why shoot like this? It is not right. This carelessness by the police and other security agencies should be checked.
“Lives are being cut short every day. My son is a professional footballer and now he has been murdered,” Rueben Izu said.
“He was the bread winner of the family. Losing him means we have lost an economic pillar. It is a sad moment in our lives.”
Joseph Izu played for Shooting Stars in the 2015/ 16 football season and had previously played for Bayelsa United and Unicem Rovers.
He was also part of the Beach Football team in last year’s Copa Lagos.
He left behind him a young wife and a five year old daughter.