By Binebai Princewill
A leading Niger Delta feminine group, operating under the auspices of Ijaw Women Connect (IWC) Worldwide has knocked Nigerian Army for the death of Mr. Joseph Pessu, father of two in Ugbuwangue, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State few days ago while enforcing the lockdown order to avoid the spread of coronavirus.
The women gave the knock yesterday via a statement issued to newsmen in Abuja, signed and circulated by the duo of Comr. (Mrs) Rosemary John-Oduone, Worldwide President of Ijaw Women Connect and Comr. (Mrs.) Evelyn Mike Ogeleka, Chairman Ijaw Women Connect, IWC Western Zone. (Delta, Edo & Ondo States), a copy of which was sent to The Liberator Newspaper.
They particularly described the soldier who killed Joseph Pessu as a trigger happy soldier, stressing that the ultimate duty of a soldier is to protect and defend the lives of citizens and not to kill them, adding that even if paraventure someone flouts the order, there are other permissible disciplinary actions to be taken against such peron (s) and not to take his or her life.
The leading Niger Delta sociocultural feminine organization had called on the Delta State Government to urgently handle the matter before it degenerate to the breakdown of law and order in the area.
The statement reads in full below:
3ND APRIL ,2020
IJAW WOMEN WORLDWIDE CONDEMNS THE KILLING OF MR JOSEPH PESSU BY A SOLDIER OF THE NIGERIAN ARMY ON THE 2ND APRIL, 2020 AT UGBUWANGUE COMMUNITY OF DELTA STATE.
Ijaw Women Worldwide, condemns the killing of a Niger Delta Youth and Father of two, Mr. Joseph Pessu by a trigger happy soldier of the Nigerian Army. Ordinarily, a soldier’s duty is to protect and defend all citizens of this country.
As a properly trained soldier of the Nigerian Army, the Covid 19 lockdown order should not in any way,lead to the killing of any citizen.
If by any chance a citizen defaults any of the stay at home orders announced at the state or Federal levels, there are disciplinary measures to be taken. No person lawfully armed or not has a right to simply take the life of a citizen.
As members of a respected Niger Delta women organisation, we demand that the Government of Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa of Delta State acts urgently to handle the situation in order to avoid further breakdown of law and order and take action to douse the incendiary situation and calm the anger of Niger Delta youths, who have witnessed too many instances of such senseless killings by soldiers.
We also call on the Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the killing and bring the perpetrators to face the full wrath of the law. Every citizen has a right to live.
Furthermore, we demand that the unit to which the offending soldier is attached, identifies and hands him over for prosecution. We have witnessed too many instances of trigger happy maniacs being given soft landing and allowed to simply disappear without facing the law.
At this challenging period of the global pandemic wrought by the Corona virus ravaging the world, men of the military should be concious of their sworn pledge of protecting and defending citizens and the territory, not perpetrators of unjust killings.
As mothers, we demand for justice for our slain son Mr. Joseph Pessu. Justice must be seen to have been carried out.
Comrade. (Mrs.) Rosemary John-Oduone. President General. Ijaw Women Connect IWC-Worldwide.
Comrade. (Mrs.) Evelyn Mike Ogeleka.
Chairman. Ijaw Women Connect, IWC Western Zone. (Delta, Edo & Ondo States).
Meanwhile, the Delta State Government had promised Deltans that they are on top of the matter as investigation is currently ongoing, stressing that justice must take its due place at the end of it all.