Single mother grieves after son’s death in Boda Boda row

By Taban Gabriel

Mary Inga, a single mother in Mauna is in grieve and lamentation as she mourns the unanticipated demise of her beloved son who was shot dead on Thursday.

Samuel Joel 18 aka Joe, as commonly referred by his area friends, was shot by a disgruntled police officer attached to the Boda Boda Association (BBA) in Mauna after a fracas ensued with some motorists over membership card.

The late Joel was a passerby when a stray bullet from the Boda Boda scuffle landed on him causing serious bleeding which later resulted to his ill-timed demise at a medical facility in the area.    

Witness at the time, one George William gave an account of what transpired during the incident; he blamed the murder of Joe to negligence by a police officer attached to members of the BBA.

“What happened is that, the members of the Boda Boda Association who stationed near Kenisa Habash started fighting a motorist after he refused to hand them his motorbike’s key and document and the misunderstanding stirred a physical fight that led to the motorist head being injured with a hard object,” George said.

Having injured the motorist, the BBA members started disembarking from the scene of incident however only two out of three were lucky to escape unhurt but appeared within few minutes later with  police officer who was armed to his teeth.

“The police officer in his native language had demanded that the detained BBA member should escape the scene, however the injured motorist jumped from the ground to stop the police officer from issuing any order before investigation is carried and that triggered the random firing of bullets that killed Joe who stood a distance away by then,” he added.

Meanwhile another witnessed who only preferred to be called Majok said he and the late took cover at the same site when the shootout happened.

“I saw blood on the side of his shirt and when I asked him the cause of the blood, he too was unaware and immediately from below his back I saw serious blood oozing that was when I realized Joel was shot by stray bullet,” he said.

The late Joe was in his first year in the University of Juba before he met his fate.

Joe’s grieving mother known for her steadfast vigilance of being a single mother for long, with tears in her eyes, urged the government to deliver justice for her son.

“I don’t know what my son did to the officer and I don’t know why a government officer is the one to take the life of my son, I don’t have anything to say but God and the government knows what to do with the officer,” Mary said.

The area chief of Mauna Block 2 where the incident happened, Eliza Sarah Buwa called for the government to intervene to safe young people from the wrath of Boda Boda Association BBA.

She called for closure of the office of the BBA, “they don’t belong to the government and the government should initiate an office that tackles the issue of Boda Boda better,” she said.

On the other hand, the area chief of Mauna Block 3 where the BBA office is located, Godfrey Batali called for the closure of the office.

“If the government can’t close the BBA office, I will withdraw the plot document such that the Boda Boda office leaves my area,” he said.

Fury and Anger was the dominance expression seen in the eyes of young people who gathered at the home of Joe’s mum.

Youth leaders of the two areas of Mauna also threw their weight behind the call by area chiefs for the intervention of the government in closing the BBA.

John Rabi is the Youth leader of Mauna Block 3; he condemned the forceful membership of motorists to join the Association.

“It’s only a person who doesn’t understand the meaning of an association who will force membership; if they really have clue about an association they won’t have faced all these criticisms,” he said.

Both Rabi and his co-youth leader from block two called on authorities to safe young people doing Boda Boda hassle from the wrath of BBA.

The killing of Joe in Mauna, later in the afternoon of Friday provoked angry members of the Boda-Boda who stormed the BBA office, burned and vandalized the office and wall fence.

Several efforts to reach the spokesperson of the National Police Service proved futile as his contact was unreachable by press time.

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