Tension has gripped the Ogulagha community in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State as soldiers attached to Forcados Terminal have reportedly shot dead a youth in the community, Endurance Kalaepele.
PUNCH Metro gathered that the 27-year-old man was allegedly shot twice by the military men while picking snails with his team of snail hunters.
It was gathered that the incident happened at about 11:00 p.m. on Monday.
Consequently, enraged youths of the community have gone on rampages, destroying company vehicles and property just as they also took over the major roads in the community to express their anger.
Commenting on the incident, the youth president of the Ogulagha community, ThankGod Iyaragba, told journalists that the deceased was with six others hunting snails late Monday night when he was allegedly shot dead by soldiers.
The youth president said, “Around 10:00p.m yesterday (Monday), six of the community boys went to the bush behind Forcadoes Terminal, the Pipeline bush, for snail picking, but were intercepted on their way back by the military men.
“One of the boys, Endurance, tried to run out of fear but was shot twice at close range.
“This infuriated youths of the community who went on the rampage destroying company vehicles and property.
“They have also taken over the major roads in the community to express their anger”.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer for Delta State Command, DSP Bright Edafe told The PUNCH that he was yet to get details of the incident as of the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the Special Assistant to the Governor of Delta State on Political Matters, Comrade Ozobo Austin, has described the killing of the 27-year-old youth by suspected soldiers in the Forcados terminal as “unprofessional, provocative, barbaric” which could incite unrest in the community.
This was contained in a signed statement he made available to newsmen in Warri on Tuesday afternoon.
The governor’s aide while sympathising with the entire Ogulagha community and the bereaved family, appealed to the aggrieved youths to calm their frayed nerves assuring that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa will investigate the incident and bring to book every soldier that is involved in the dastardly act.
According to Ozobo, the unlawful killing of the young youth in the Ogulagha community should be outrightly condemned by every well-meaning citizen of the State insisting that it was wrong that the military has always been going for soft targets in the Niger Delta region.
Such attitudes, he said, displayed deep parallel lines between the citizens and the security agents just as he advised security authorities to always educate their men to remain civil when dealing with law-abiding citizens in the country.