The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has reacted to the news of his security personnel shooting down a newspaper vendor in an attempt to disperse the crowd.
The incident which happened on Thursday evening was recorded by a passerby who stated that the vendors ran to sell their newspaper when the security personnel shot in the air to scare off the crowd.
Gbajabiamila stated that he was distraught as the vendor’s death and has, therefore, suspended the officer who fired the shots as investigation begins.
He also revealed that his value for human life has endeared him to the vendors and that was why he always stops his convoy to interact with them.
Read his statement below;
“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 the 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. In the meantime; the officer who fired the fatal shot has been suspended from the convoy pending the conclusion of the investigation.
I am personally distraught about this incident and my deepest sympathies go to the victim, his family and Abuja vendors. I have caused a report to be made to the local police station and an investigation has commenced.
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.
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.”