Tempers are rising among members of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, the umbrella body of Ijaw youths, over the shooting of their leader in Kombowei clan, Bayelsa State, Biafraland by a trigger-happy policeman.


The leader, Mr. Bekikeme Dike, was allegedly shot in the neck at a police checkpoint at Igbogene area of the state in the late hours of Sunday.


It was learnt that Dike fell into a coma (though some mistook him for a dead man) after the shooting.


Though the reason for the shooting could not be ascertained, claims and counter claims have characterised the incident.


But a source, who craved anonymity, said the police corporal, who opened fire on Dike’s vehicle, claimed the IYC leader refused to stop for search when he was flagged down.


But the Bayelsa State Command said the policeman that carried out the shooting targeted the tyre of the victim’s vehicle.


In a statement on Tuesday by the Public Relations Officer, Bayelsa State, Asinim Butswat, the police said he was not dead but responding well to treatment.


The police said the command, however, regretted the unfortunate incident and assured members of the public that investigation was on and adequate punishment will be awarded the Corporal if found guilty.


It further advised members of IYC to be calm, saying the Command would do everything possible within its power to ensure justice for their wounded member.


But in condemning what it described as senseless and reckless shooting of its Chairman, the IYC berated the police for creating the impression that Dike refused to stop at a checkpoint.


In a statement by its spokesman, Eric Omare, the IYC said, “Contrary to the false impression created by the Nigeria Police in their press statement that Mr. Bekikeme Dike refused to stop at the check point, Dike, who was with his fiancée when one of the police officers asked him to stop did so obediently.

The IYC also said contrary to the wrong impression created by the police that the victim was responding to treatment, the victim was in critical condition.


“He is in a very critical state and would require a high level medical attention in some of the best hospitals in the world with the best facilities possible for him to survive,” the group said.

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