There is a rising panic in the Koluama community of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State following the killing of the Clan Chairman of the Movement for the Survival of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality (MOSIEND) by gunmen suspected to be cultists on Sunday.
The deceased MOSIEND Chairman in Koluama Clan, simply identified as ‘Comrade Big J’ also known as ‘Don Cici’, was shot at close range around 7 am on Sunday at the Osuale market on his way to pick up money from the local money transfer agent through boat transportation, Daily Trust learnt.
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According to youths in the area, Comrade Big J was a dedicated Ijaw youth advocate and also a strong member of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) until he left the council after the last National Executive election.
A source in the Koluama community said though Comrade Big J is a known advocate of peace and welfare for Ijaw youths, those suspected to have killed him were cultists who felt he crossed into their territory.
He said: “I suspect that all these small cult boys that do not know him and his struggle for their welfare must have shot him.
“It may be a territorial killing without regard to the fact that he has staked his life for the struggle towards improved welfare for Ijaw youths.”
Daily Trust gathered that the deceased was about 50 years of age and was married with kids.
The Chairman of the Southern Ijaw Forum of MOSIEND, Comrade Mathew Ebikibuna, condemned the killing, describing it as barbaric.
He called on security agencies in the state to ensure that those involved in the killing are brought to justice.
Also, the Publicity Secretary of MOSIEND, Comrade Emmanuel Tonye Isaac, expressed a deep sense of loss over the killing.
He said: “It is with a deep sense of loss, we regret to announce the sudden demise of one of our fallen comrades in the person of Comrade Big J, the chairman of koluama clan who was gunned down by some unknown gunmen at the early hours of Sunday 18th of July in Yenagoa.
“The Leadership of MOSIEND Central Zone highly condemn this gruesome act in its entirety.
“We are appealing to all security agencies to leave no stone unturned by bringing those culpable to book.
“As a law-abiding body, we seek not to take the laws into our hands but we are willing to cooperate with relevant security agencies to fish out these criminals.
“We condole with the family, loved ones, Koluama clan and the entire MOSIEND Central Zone for this loss.”
The police spokesman in Bayelsa State, SP Asinim Butswat, said the matter has not yet been reported to the police.