A former Chairman of Ahoada West Local Government Council of Rivers State, Ikechukwu Obuzor has called on world’s football governing body, FIFA, to suspend Nigeria from all competitions until the government orders the military to produce the rogue soldiers involved in murder of 3SC of Ibadan defender, Joseph Izu.
Izu was allegedly murdered by soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force (JTF) based in Akinima while holidaying at his hometown Okarki in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State. Obuzor in a statement released in Port Harcourt said the appeal has become necessary as the Nigerian government is not doing enough to apprehend the culprits and secure justice for the late footballer. Parts of the statement read:
“I humbly wish to draw the attention of Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and its President, Gianni Infantino to the Extra Judicial Killing of Joseph Izu, a renowned footballer with the Shooting Stars Sports Club of Ibadan on Sunday, 16th of October, 2016.
“Joseph Izu played for Shooting Stars in the just concluded 2015-2016 season and was on vacation like most other footballers in Nigeria for the off season.
“He was in his hometown Okarki to enjoy his vacation and could not have been a target of the Joint Task Force (JTF) as he was never a cultist.
“Since the unfortunate incident, several efforts have been made to get the authorities to investigate the sad development and compensate the family adequately. It has yielded no result but intimidation of eye-witnesses in bid to silence them.
“It is in light of the above that I appeal to FIFA to wield its sledge hammer and insist that the right thing be done so authorities will be compelled to act swiftly and avoid setting a dangerous precedent in the soccer community. Justice must take its course. If it happened to Joseph Izu today and nothing is done, there is no telling which soccer star will be the next victim”.
Izu was reportedly shot multiple times despite having identified himself as a footballer by showing the rampaging soldiers his identity card.