By Sylvester Idowu
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa; Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, Labour Minister of State, Festus Keyamo and Activist, Sheriff Mulade have sued for peace over the killing of a 28-years-old Joseph Pessu in Warri by one of the security agents assigned to enforce lockdown in the town as part of government efforts to curb the spread of Coronavirus.
Pessu, a father of two and an Itsekiri youth, was shot dead by a soldier enforcing the COVID-19 lockdown directive of the state government in Warri, Warri South Local Government Area on Thursday.
Governor Okowa who spoke through the state Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu said the state government had sent a delegation to the deceased family to condole with them over the loss of their son and contacted the military to investigate.
Chairman of Warri South Local Government Area in Delta State, Michael Tidi, said videos circulating on social media about the killing were concocted to embarrass Warri.
Omo-Agege condemned the alleged gruesome killing of Pessu by men of the Nigerian Army and urged for thorough investigations of the incident.
Keyamo described the incident as “disturbing, barbaric and high-handedness on the part of the men of the armed forces” and promised to pursue the matter with the highest military authorities.
A Niger Delta human rights activist, Chief Mulade Sheriff urged Deltans to support the State Government’s effort to curb the spread of the killer COVID-19 coronavirus.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Warri, Chief Mulade condemned the incident that led to the death of Pessu.
While sympathising with the family of the slain youth, Mulade urged Deltans to cooperate with security operatives during the 14 days stay at home noting that everyone was duty bound to carry out government directives especially in enforcing the restriction of movement to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus into Delta State.
He also called for calm and urged security agents to discharge their duties professionally, as it was their responsibility to protect lives and property of Nigerians.
THISDAY had reported that a soldier shot Pessu dead after a hot chase as he failed to stop when he was flagged down by a combined team of security operatives, who mounted barricade at Ugbuwangue in Warri South Council Area.
The deceased, who abandoned the deflated car and ran into a nearby bush, was pursued by the soldier who shot him in the waist first to demobilise him, before another direct aim on his chest that killed him on the spot.
Security sources disclosed that the soldiers suspected the deceased was an armed robber going by the way he drove the car and refused to stop despite the chase.
“When the deceased refused to stop, the soldiers went after him and shot at one of the rear tyres. The young man continued to drive the car with a burst tyre until he got to Ogunu. He blocked the road with his car, jumped out and started running.
“It was then one of the soldiers assumed him to be a suspect and shot at him. Immediately the incident happened, the soldier drove directly to the Area Command of the Nigeria Police to report himself,” he said.