Joseph Pessu, a resident of Warri, Delta state, has reportedly been shot dead by a soldier enforcing the lockdown in the state.
Although there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 in Delta, Ifeanyi Okowa, the governor, had ordered a lockdown across the state for 14 days, starting from April 1.
A team of soldiers was said to have stopped Pessu, a father of two, around the Ugbuwangue area of the town on Thursday morning, but he refused.
The soldiers were said to have chased the deceased who was driving a car without a number plate, overpowered and shot him on the spot.
In protest, youth from the community blocked the expressway and burnt tyres.
Michael Tidi, chairman of Warri south local government area, visited the area to placate the youths and contain the situation.
Confirming the incident, Hafiz Inuwa, commissioner of police, said the brewing tension in the area has subsided.
Festus Keyamo, minister of state for labour and employment, condemned the killing, describing it as barbaric.
“I have received disturbing reports and images of the high-handedness and shooting of innocent citizens by men of the armed forces deployed to enforce the COVID-19 lockdown in my State, Delta State,” he said in a statement.
“Specifically, I have received reports of the killing of an innocent young man, Mr. Joseph Pessu in Warri. I unreservedly condemn this barbaric act by men of the armed forces who should exercise restraint when dealing with the civilian populace.
“I will be forwarding a petition to the relevant authorities to thoroughly investigate this murder and bring the officer(s) to book. In the interim, let us not take the laws into our hands, please.”
– The Cable