Friday Igbegbe, a former Ijaw militant leader, is said to have committed suicide in Warri, Delta state, following a long struggle with depression.
Igbegbe, a titleholder from Igbe-Ijoh, Warri, apparently took the severe step on Saturday evening, October 23.
The Ijaw freedom fighter left behind 36 children and a slew of spouses, the majority of whom allegedly deserted him throughout his ordeal.
Igbegbe had been suffering from depression for almost a year, according to a chief from the Igbe-Ijoh community, who verified the occurrence to the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday evening.
He claimed the deceased was transferred to a rehab center in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, around a year ago for alleged drug addiction.
Igbegbe was meant to spend six months at the recovery center, but he discreetly departed before the deadline and returned home to resume his addiction, according to him. On Saturday, when he was alone, he took his own life.
“We tried to help him. But the thing had gotten into his system. We took him to somewhere in Ogbomoso for rehab, but he ran away in less than three months. He was supposed to spend three months but ran back home. He killed himself about three months after he left the centre, leaving behind about 36 children. It’s a sad event. God knows we tried our best to save him,” the chief explained.
On Sunday, October 24, the ex-militant’s body was laid to rest amid tears.
Likewise, friends and comrades from around Ijaw nation have rushed to Facebook to express their condolences for the fallen.
Former militant Comrade Elewei Gbadia was regarded as a humble and humane individual by Comrade Elewei Gbadia.
“So unpalatable to behold! Such an ugly sequence in a space of time Ijaw nation lost two of its ardent believers of the struggle! That of Chief Commander Richman Yinbiri, now Chief Igbegbe. He was a humane person and problems solver during his stay on earth. He never showed ego irrespective of the numerous influences he had but resolved to be a man with the people’s heart. We will really miss him. May his soul rest in peace,” he wrote.
The dead was hailed as a compassionate and generous man by Comrade Oyinbi Onduku, CEO/Publisher Niger Delta Mirror News Online, who posted images from the burial.