Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Several Igbo traders in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital monday took their protest to the police headquarters, in the state capital, complaining that their safety was no longer guaranteed by authorities in the state.
The demonstration, which took the aggrieved traders through major streets, took place after a third Igbo businessman was killed by suspected assassins in less than a month.
monday’s protest was induced by the murder of another businessman, identified as Martins Agodo, by unknown gunmen at his Yenagoa residence in the early hours of yesterday.
The armed gang reportedly broke into the house of the decease, who owns a popular boutique called Omars Fashion Plaza at the Ompadec area of the Yenagoa-Mbiama Road, killing him instantly.
His house located on Punch Road, was particularly targeted and burgled after the marauders demanded money from their victim, who told them he had no money in the house.
He reportedly told his assailants that there was no cash at home because shops in the capital city were shut down for about four days in honour of the late Governor of the state, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who was buried on Saturday.
After ransacking his house, the gunmen were said to have shot and killed him in cold blood in the presence of his young wife, whom he just married.
Chief Chinedu Arthur-Ugwa, President, Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), who led the protest, lamented that Agodo was killed a few days after gunmen suspected to be assassins murdered another successful Igbo businessman, Ugochukwu, popularly called Ugo Best.
It was learnt that Ugochukwu was killed along the Azikoro village on his way home after business of that day while his corpse was discovered the next day at the Azikoro cemetery with his hands and legs tied together.
‘’The Igbos are no longer safe in Bayelsa. We are being killed by gunmen. 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.
“We are not happy and we have closed down our business to come to the police headquarters that we are not safe. If you cannot guarantee our safety, we will relocate our business and families out of the state,’’ the leader said.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Peter Ogunyawo, in his response, told the crowd that death was inevitable and a ‘debt everyone must pay’.
“Whatever has happened is unfortunate. No violence is targeted at any tribe. Crime happens everywhere. Rather than complain, you need to tell us once there’s a feeling that a crime is about to happen. Our patrol team doesn’t sleep.
“You can see that corpse there. It’s a robbery case and our men went into the bush to get them and we recovered several arms.
“Death is a debt we all have to pay and nobody knows when and how they will pay theirs. It’s not targeted. We can’t be effective if you don’t partner with us,’’ the CP said.