The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Sunday, November 22, met with members of the Abuja Newspapers Distributors Association (ANDA) and the Newspapers Vendors Association, Abuja (NVAA) to condole with them over the death of their colleague, Ifeanyi Okereke.
1st News had reported Okereke was shot by a member of Gbajabiamila’s security detail on Thursday.
Gbajabiamila stated Ifeanyi, who died from a bullet fired by one of the security aides attached to the Speaker’s convoy, would get justice.
“The arc of the moral universe is long; but it always bends towards justice,” the Speaker said, according to a statement signed by his spokesman, Lanre Lasisi.
The Speaker said the House would upon its resumption of plenary on Tuesday honour the late Ifeanyi; and invited the leaders of the two associations to be part of the event to be held on the floor of the House.
“Let me address you not as the Speaker but as Femi Gbajabiamila a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has been caught unawares in the middle of this unfortunate incident,” the Speaker said.
“This is a very difficult time for me. Like many have said, you guys have been my friends for years. I have no idea and I don’t know why you guys have always taken to me over the years; including campaigning for me in the streets of Abuja during the speakership election. You’ve always been there for me. As you were selling your papers, you were also selling me.”
The Speaker said the security operative responsible for the shooting had been handed over to the Department of State Security (DSS); and they are investigating 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 with his wife and children likewise.
“Those children have now become my children. I have made commitments to the family to train them until they become adults. I have instructed the lawyers in my office to immediately set up a trust fund for them until adulthood. The incident has touched me in no small measure; and in ways difficult for anyone to understand. I am a man of peace and not violence.”
As part of the mourning period, the Speaker said he had cancelled all his engagements, “because I’m indeed mourning; and I can’t be mourning and be celebrating or attending joyous occasions or functions at the same time.
“We all talked about justice, and I assure you we will follow due process. Justice, in whatever form it is, will prevail. That’s what we can do for now.”