The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Sunday met with members of the Abuja Newspapers Distributors Association (ANDA) and therefore the Newspapers Vendors Association, Abuja (NVAA) to feel for them over the death of their colleague, Ifeanyi Okereke.
Speaker Gbaja, who visited the Abuja newspapers distribution centre at Area 1 in Abuja, said Ifeanyi, who died from a bullet fired by one among the safety aides attached to his convoy, would get justice.
“the arc of the moral universe is long but it always bends towards justice”
The Speaker, filled with grief over the incident, said the House would upon its resumption of plenary on Tuesday honour the late Ifeanyi and invited the leaders of the 2 associations to be a part of the event to be persisted the ground of the House.
“Let me address you not because the Speaker but as Femi Gbajabiamila a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who has been caught unawares within the middle of this unfortunate incident.
“Many of you that are following me from the start know that championing the explanation for the masses has been my life work as a legislator. I’ve been a champion of the commoner and thus the irony of this is often not lost on me and lots of folks …
“This may be a very difficult time on behalf of me . Like many have said, you guys are my friends for years. I even have no idea and that i do not know why you guys have always taken to me over the years including campaigning on behalf of me within the streets of abuja during the speakership election.
“That’s why whenever I pass you guys , I stop to mention hi. Some people said why did I stop within the middle of the road? But as we were moving, the lights changed to red which meant to prevent . So we stopped and my friends, as usual, besieged the vehicle, shouting and were jubilant.
“Immediately I heard the gunshot, I screamed and said why are they doing that? At that point i assumed it had been just an attempt into the air. As we moved on, I asked that they ought to park the car. It’s against security training as they made me realize, but I insisted and that they parked.
They said everything was okay. We moved on. it had been later that night that I got the complete gist of what had happened. i would like to commiserate with you over what happened.”
The Speaker said the safety operative liable for the shooting had been handed over to the Department of State Security (DSS), and that they are investigation the shooting and its circumstances.
Gbajabiamila said he had visited the family of the late Ifeanyi at the Kwata area of Madalla-Suleja on Saturday, where he met together with his wife and youngsters .
“Those children have now become my children. I even have made commitments to the family to coach them until they become adults.
I have instructed the lawyers in my office to right away found out a fund for them until adulthood.
The incident has touched me in no small measure and in ways difficult for anyone to know . i’m a person of peace and not violence.”
As a part of the mourning period, the Speaker said he had cancelled all his engagements, “because I’m indeed mourning, and that i cannot be mourning and be celebrating or attending joyous occasions or functions at an equivalent time.
“We all talked about justice, and that i assure you we’ll follow due process of law . Justice, in whatever form it’s , will prevail. that is what we will do for now.
“There’s sitting on Tuesday, and i am inviting the Executives of the 2 associations, and perhaps some few members, to return over where we’ll be honouring Ifeanyi. we’ve tons of things on Tuesday, but we’ll honour him.
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