Newspaper vendors protest killing of colleague by Gbajabiamila’s security aide

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Newspaper vendors in the FCT on Friday protested the killing of their colleague, Ifeanyi Elechi, by a DSS official attached to the security detail of Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

The vendors hoisted placards and chanted solidarity songs as they demanded justice for their slain colleague.

They said that the errant security operative must be made to face the full wrath of the law over his irresponsible use of his firearm.

Chairman of the Newspapers Vendors Association in FCT, Etim Eteng, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, said that the association would not rest until justice was done.

He warned against any attempt to sweep the matter under the carpet.

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Recall that Gbajabiamila early Friday morning released a statement expressing deep regret over the incident.

He stated that he did not know about the incident, which occurred close to the Federal Secretariat, until much later when it was brought to his attention.

The Speaker disclosed that the security operative involved had been placed on suspension pending an investigation into the incident.

Gbajabiamila explained that the incident occurred when he stopped his convey to exchange pleasantries with the vendors as was his usual practice after work.

According to the fifth-term lawmaker, 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 our 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.

“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 all Abuja vendors,” he said.

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