from femi folaranmi (yenagoa) and Ayo Ademokoya (ibadan)
Father of the slain Shooting Stars’ defender, Pa Joseph has revealed how his son, Izuchukwu Joseph was allegedly shot dead by security operatives who must have mistaken his son and his friends for members of a militant group at a jetty in Okaki Village, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Five of them were shot, with two dead instantly.
In a telephone chat monitored by Daily Sun Sports through a source, who wished to remain anonymous, father of the deceased revealed that Izuchukwu was home for the holiday after the end of the 2015/2016 Nigerian Profession Football League and went out with his friends on Sunday evening.
Izu, who was caught in a friendly fire was in the pool swimming with his friends and had to run for cover, but was fished out alongside his friends, where they hid themselves.
“I learnt that my son pleaded with them and was asked to identify himself and despite doing so, he was shot together with his friends and the most painful thing was that they took his phone and recorded him while he wasstill writhing in pain till he was about to give up the ghost.”
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation has commiserated with the family of the player.
NFF President Amaju Pinnick was much grieved when he learnt of the incident, and immediately put a telephone call through to the father of the late footballer, who agonizingly narrated the tragic circumstances in which the young Joseph was killed.
Pinnick said afterwards: “I am sorely distraught with what has happened. It is a most unfortunate incident that has brought sorrow to the Nigeria football family, barely a week after we were celebrating victory in a World Cup qualifying match.
“What has happened is most painful. I want to appeal to our football players to always be mindful of the company they keep and the places they go at all times, because they are special assets.”
At the end of the day, each and everyone of us will die, but we don’t want to be losing football players in the manner in which Izu Joseph has died.”
The NFF boss prayed for the repose of the soul of the late Izu Joseph, while also praying that God will give the family he has left behind, the Shooting Stars Sports Club and the Nigeria football family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Izu Joseph, a regular with Shooting Stars Sports Club in the just –ended Nigeria Professional Football League season, and who helped the Oluyole Warriors retain Premiership status, was shot dead in his home –town, Okaki in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday.