Igbegbe, a titleholder from Igbe-Ijoh, Warri, reportedly took the drastic step on Saturday evening, October 23.
The Ijaw freedom fighter left behind 36 children and a slew of wives, the majority of whom allegedly deserted him during his ordeal.
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Igbegbe had been suffering from depression for about a year, according to a chief from the Igbe-Ijoh community, who confirmed the incident to the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday evening.
He claimed the deceased was taken to a rehab centre in Ogbomoso, Oyo State, about a year ago for alleged drug addiction.
Igbegbe was supposed to spend six months at the rehab centre, but he secretly left before the deadline and returned home to continue his addiction, according to him. On Saturday, when he was alone, he took his own life.
“We attempted to assist him. However, the thing had made its way into his system. We took him to a rehab facility in Ogbomoso, but he ran away after less than three months. He was supposed to stay for three months, but he returned home early. He committed suicide three months after leaving the centre, leaving behind 36 children. It’s a sad occurrence. “We did everything we could to save him,” the chief explained.
On Sunday, October 24, the ex-body militant’s was laid to rest amid tears.
Meanwhile, friends and comrades across Ijaw land have taken to Facebook to mourn the deceased.
Comrade Elewei Gbadia, described the late former militant as a humble and humane person.
“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 hearts. We will miss him. May his soul rest in peace,” he wrote.
Comrade Oyinbi Onduku, CEO/Publisher Niger Delta Mirror News Online, who shared photos from the burial described the deceased as a compassionate and generous man.