Gbajabiamila mourns as security aide kills newspaper vendor
The Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, last night expressed his deepest sympathies to the family of a deceased newspaper vendor, his family and the entire Abuja vendors for the killing of one of their members by his security aide.
A security aide attached to Gbajabiamila, yesterday shot dead the newspaper vendor, identified as Mr. Ifeanyi Okereke, in Abuja.
The victim was subsequently rushed to the National Hospital by his brother and some police officers, where he was confirmed dead.
Okereke was shot dead when he, and other street vendors selling on the Shehu Shagari Way, Three Arms Zone, flocked around the convoy of the speaker, who was said to be in the habit of giving them money any time he passed.
Speaking on the incident, the Chairman of the Newspapers Vendors Association in FCT, Mr. Etim Eteng, said Okereke died at the National Hospital shortly after he was rushed there.
He stated that his wife gave birth to a baby on yesterday morning.
In a statement he issued yesterday, Gbajabiamila described the incident as horrible.
“This evening as I left the National Assembly, I stopped as usual to exchange pleasantries with the newspaper vendors at the corner. Many of them have known me since I first moved to Abuja and it was a friendly exchange.
“Unfortunately, after the convoy set out in continuation of movement, unidentified men obstructed the convoy which got the attention of security men in the convoy who shot into the air to disperse them.
“Some hours later, after getting to our destination, it was brought to my attention that someone was hit by a stray bullet, contrary to an earlier report by men in the convoy that they applied their security discretion to shoot in the air.
“I have caused a report to be made to the local police station and an investigation has commenced.
“In the meantime; the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
“My value for human life and my respect for all people – irrespective of social economic status – is what endeared me to these vendors and these are the reasons why I stop my convoy quite often to connect with them. For one of them to have been shot by my security aide is horrific and I cannot begin to imagine the grief and loss Ifeanyi’s family must feel on this sad day. No family should have to go through this.
“I am personally distraught about this incident and my deepest sympathies go to the victim, his family and Abuja vendors”.