Nigeria’s Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila is being slammed on social media after a stray bullet from one of his security aides killed a newspaper vendor in Abuja.
A Twitter user on Thursday had shared a viral video of the incident which showed an unidentified man bleeding to death as he was being held by another. It immediately drew concerns as many Nigerians began searching for the government official who the security detail was attached to.
Now, in a statement released via social media, Gbajabiamila has revealed himself as the official while expressing his regret over the unfortunate incident. He also gave an account of how it happened, noting that the security aide has been suspended from his convoy and he has ordered an investigation into the incident.
Femi Gbajabiamila's security shot a newspaper vendor and drove off. This leaders are so Heartless. Let it go viral 💔💔💔
— KOBZ ❼ (@Mistakobz) November 20, 2020
“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,” he wrote.
“Unfortunately, after the convoy set out in continuation of movement, unidentified men obstructed the convoy which got the attention of security men in the convoy who shot into the air to disperse them.”
He continued, “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.”
His statement has however, been met with huge criticisms with many social media users frowning upon the disregard of human lives displayed by security officials.
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.
— Femi Gbajabiamila (@femigbaja) November 20, 2020
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.
— Femi Gbajabiamila (@femigbaja) November 20, 2020
See reactions below:
Bisi Fayemi's security killed students in Ekiti
Anike Dabiri's orderly killed a teenager in Abuja
Yesterday, Femi Gbajabiamila's security killed Ifeanyi in Abuja
The executive & their many executions 😪
— BabaTee of Akure 🇳🇬 (@TheBabaTee) November 20, 2020
We can now add "horrible incident by Femi Gbajabiamila" as one of the ways Nigeria can kill people. May you never end up as one of his victims. https://t.co/DSlsxyu9ry
— Ayo Sogunro – An #EndSARS Promoter (@ayosogunro) November 20, 2020
“@JGracechild: The soldiers at Lekki shot in the air, people on the ground died.
Femi Gbajabiamila’s security detail shot in the air, a vendor on the ground died.
— GIDITRAFFIC (@Gidi_Traffic) November 20, 2020
The police must immediately arrest Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, take him into custody for interrogation & prosecute him within 48 hours. Mr Speaker is not protected by any immunity under the Nigerian laws. The killers of a street vendor in Abuja yesterday must be brought to book.
— Tope Akinyode (@TopeAkinyode) November 20, 2020
The convoy of the speaker of house of Rep (Femi Gbajabiamila) was stuck in traffic in Abuja and his security men shot live bullets into "the air" to clear the road.
The "stray bullet" killed a newspaper vendor. Aother day of Nigerian leaders killing those they swore to protect
— Kelvin Odanz (@MrOdanz) November 20, 2020
Femi Gbajabiamila went to buy newspapers yesterday evening. His convoy ran into unarmed people and next thing, his security aides shot someone dead.
Gbaja said “they shot into the air” but “stray bullet hit someone”.
Alright. That person hit must be a bird floating in the air.
— #OurFavOnlineDoc 🩺🇳🇬🇬🇧💎 (@DrOlufunmilayo) November 20, 2020
Femi Gbajabiamila said the security operatives shot in the air, same way they claimed the soldiers shot in the air on 20/10/2020… You shot live rounds in the air and then act surprised when stray bullet kills someone. How about y’all just stop shooting??!!
— Series Abíọ́dún ☻ (@Engr_Series) November 20, 2020
If Femi Gbajabiamila doesn't produce who took the shot, then he should be held responsible for the murder of that vendor.
— Sammy Desh (@Deshysmalls) November 20, 2020
The convoy of UK PM, Boris Johnson was once attacked and no single bullet was fired.
Nigeria speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila's security shot and killed a man because "He obstructed his convoy"😫
Another prove that Nigeria has no regard for its citizens and treats us like war games.
— Obi Of Onitsha🇨🇦 (@Uncle_clique) November 20, 2020
Apparently, it was Femi Gbajabiamila’s security operative that shot the newspaper vendor in that video I commented on yesterday. Why shoot live bullets to “disperse” unarmed people??? Is this not a replica of what happened at #LekkiMassacre ?
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) November 20, 2020
Femi Gbajabiamila's security killed someone.
Ekiti Firstlady’s security killed students.
During #EndSARS protests, Sunday Dare’s security killed youths.
They killed while ‘protecting’ these politicians. No one has resigned. No policy changes to prevent reoccurrence. Nigeria.
— Chidi Okereke (@Chydee) November 20, 2020
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