The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has confirmed that a security detail attached to his convoy fatally shot a newspaper vendor in Abuja on Thursday.
Gbajabiamila in a statement he issued and personally signed on Friday morning in Abuja narrated how the incident happened indicating that the security operatives in his convoy had earlier given him a misleading information on the unfortunate incident.
He, however, confirmed that the trigger happy security operative have been identified and suspended, while investigation to unravel what actually transpired have since commenced.
The Speaker’s account:
“A horrible incident has taken place. 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.
The Speaker condoled with the victim and his family reiterating his firm belief in the sanctity of human life irrespective of where they come from or social status.
“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 detail 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,” Gbajabiamila concluded.
Meanwhile, newspaper vendors in Abuja have converged at the Area 1, Garki distribution point of newspapers to protest and demand justice for their fallen colleague.