Seeking justice for slain 3SC player Izu Joseph
Very few issues get my attention than injustice and insensitivity – two subjects that are embedded in the story of the death of a prominent player of Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan, Izu Joseph, who was reportedly fatally shot by Joint Task Force operatives in his hometown Okaki, in Rivers State over the weekend.
The player’s father confirmed the death of the player.
I got to know about the player’s death on the Facebook page of the city’s leading sports OAP, Kenny Ogunmiloro. He spoke glowingly of Joseph who he described as a powerful central defender who was a great man marker and an outstanding aerial player.
Joseph joined Shooting Stars three years ago from Bayelsa United, he joined 3SC at a time the club had not gotten promoted to the premier league but was playing in the second-tier Nigeria National League (NNL).
Although the official report of circumstances surrounding his death is yet to be made public, what I’ve read so far was that he was caught out at a restricted area by soldiers on a raid and it was discovered that he was a football player only after he had been killed. Another account said he was hit by a stray bullet.
I believe the state government needs to have a public and official position on this case. Considering the fact that he weathered the storm during the time the club was not yet at the premier league point to the fact that he ought to given better recognition than the radio silence the government is having on his death.
Even though he cannot be brought back to life, helping the family get answers, justice and recognition would go a long way in having the wound healed on time. It would also go a long way in showing that people in charge of governance in the state actually care for others apart from themselves which would be totally against the widely spread notion about the state government’s view of its workers and the rest of us.