Igbo traders in Bayelsa State, yesterday, marched the streets of Yenagoa, the state capital, in protest of the continual murder of Igbo businessmen in the state capital by unknown gunmen suspected to be armed robbers and hired assassins.
They were particularly angry over the gruesome murder of Agodo Martins by gunmen at his Yenagoa residence early hours of Monday.
The hoodlums were said to have broken into the house of Martins, who owns a popular boutique called Omars Fashion Plaza at the Ompadec area of the Yenagoa-Mbiama Road.
It was gathered that the gunmen who stormed the house of Martins located at the Punch Road area demanded money from their victim.
The deceased 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 Martin in cold blood in the presence of his new wife.
The traders led by the President, Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), Chief Chinedu Arthur-Ugwa, also lamented that Martin was killed a few days after gunmen suspected to be assassins murdered another successful Igbo businessman, Ugochukwu, popularly called Ugo Best.
It was gathered that Ugochukwu was killed along the Azikoro village on his way home after business of that day.
A source who spoke in confidence said: “He was close to his house in company with his wife when gunmen operating in commercial tricycles blocked his car. They dragged him out of the car and forced into the tricycle.
“His corpse was discovered the next day at the Azikoro cemetery with his hands and legs tied up. He was a successful businessman who built a big house at the Azikoro village. We are scared”.
The traders also related how another businessman was gruesomely murdered at the Tombia area adding that others were being harassed and injured by arm-bearing youths.
The traders assembled at the front of Omars boutique, forced shops to close down and marched with anger to the state command of the police.
They were received by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Peter Ogunyawo, and other senior police officers.
Presenting their grievances, Arthur-Ugwa said: “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 and tell you at the headquarters that we are not safe. If you cannot guarantee our safety, we will relocate our business and families out of the state. We are pleading for your assistance”.
Ogunyawo in his response, told the grieving traders that crimes exist everywhere and were not targeted at the Igbos.
He said death is one debt everybody must pay and that nobody knows how it will be paid.
He said the command was doing everything possible to check the crime wave in the state and asked the traders to furnish the police with information to enable them become effective.
“We can’t be effective if you don’t partner with us. Once you have feelings of any crime, let us know. You don’t need to run to anywhere because crimes exist everywhere”, he said.
Culled from The Nation