Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has said he was devastated by the death of Ifeanyi Elechi, a vendor who was killed on Thursday by a stray bullet fired from his convoy.
The speaker who described the incident as ‘horrific’ in a statement he personally signed early hours of Friday explained that it was a stray bullet from one of the security men attached to his motorcade.
Gbajabiamila further explained that the sad event occurred after exchanging pleasantries with the vendors at the federal secretariat area of Abuja metropolis on his way out of the national assembly.
He said the act that had become a routine for him since becoming a lawmaker, adding that he was distraught by Elechi’s sudden death.
To this end, the speaker said he had suspended the security aide and ordered an immediate investigation into the matter.
He commiserated with the family and the Abuja vendor's family.
“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.
“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.
“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 wrote.