The life of a Nigerian footballer, Izu Joseph, a defender with the Nigeria Premier Football League club Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan, has been cut short by a bullet of a marauding soldier in Rivers State.
Mr. Joseph, according to his friends in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State, was allegedly shot dead by soldiers attached to Operation Delta Safe (ODS) during a retaliatory raid against hoodlums in the area.
The late footballer, who was on a break after helping the Shooting Stars FC gain the 14th spot in the 2015/2016 season of the Nigerian Professional Football League in which the Enugu Rangers emerged champions, died from three bullet wounds which punctured his heart on the left side.
Mr. Joseph, who joined the Shooting Stars in 2014 from Bayelsa United, was an indigene of the Okhaki community.
Contacted on the development, Acting Coordinator of the Joint Media Campaign Centre of ODS, Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Otuji, denied knowledge of the incident but said he would investigate and make a position known soon.
"We are just coming out of a meeting and nothing of such was mentioned. I am just hearing it from you and I am going to investigate and let you know the outcome," he said.
Mr. Joseph was only 24 years old.