Coalition Of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), the apex socio-political youth organization in the South East geopolitical zone, have called on the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to resign his position over the gruesome killing of a newspaper vendor, Mr. Ifeanyi Okereke.
Recall that Mr. Okereke was shot by the Speaker’s Security aide on the evening of Thursday 19th of November, 2020, near the national assembly.
Hon. Gbaja, while narrating the incident said it occurred when he had stopped to exchange pleasantries with some of the newspaper vendors around the national assembly when some “unidentified” men obstructed his convoy.
The number four citizens said his aide shot into the air to disperse these men, but that he later learnt that a stray bullet hit “someone”.
Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila while speaking to the newsmen later revealed that the killer-cop, “Abdullahi Hassan“, has been handed over to the Department of State Services (DSS) for discipline.
Reacting over the news of Mr. Okereke’s death, COSEYL said Femi should resign if he is truly Honourable.
The full statement signed by the group President General, Hon. Goodluck Ibem, reads below:
“The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, the apex socio-political youth organization in the South East geopolitical zone condemns in strongest terms the gruesome killing of Ifeanyichukwu Okereke, a Suleja-based newspaper vendor – plighng his trade within Three Arm Zone – working so hard to earn mossel for self and family, by one Abdullahi M. Hassan a security agent attached to the retinue of the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday November 21, 2020.
“We are alarmed that the life of such a promising young man was cut short in its prime. He was a humble and law-abiding citizen who deserves to live a peaceful life to the fullest, taking care of and as well enjoying the love of his immediate and extended families. The trigger-happy security agent of the Speaker has shown by his conduct that the brutality for which the youth took to the streets in nationwide protest only recently is still far from eradicated.
“The persons whom the speaker claimed halted his convoy that waranted the shooting by his security details were not armed neither where did they pose any threat to peace at the time of the incident. The callous murder smacks of sheer arrogance and gross insensitivity; countenanced by what we call “VIP treatment” to the so-called politically exposed persons as against the common man. This is the same reason this class of persons are driven against the traffic by agents who lash and whip poor citizens to ferry their “Oga” through. How can one easily forget that a sitting senator beat up a lady in a shop for calling him to order and still resumed his seat at the Red Chamber?
“The speaker should not have allowed the shooting if he understands that the bullet in question was bought by tax payers’ money and not his money and that any form of waste of public funds in whatever guise is an act of corruption and a criminal offense. This has further exposed our politicians who were elected into power by the masses and how they see themselves as demi-gods. They don’t want their constituents or people to come close to them. When elected into power, they see the electorate as a threat to their peace. The Speaker’s position made available through his release left much to be only desired. How come the Speaker claimed he never knew when gun was fired in peacetime on an innocent citizen? Again, the speaker acknowledged in his own words that the vendors usually greet him at sight and so why didn’t he worry about the shots when his vendor friends came to greet him as usual?
“We call for thorough investigation and prosecution of Mr. Hassan who shot dead the newspaper vendor, Ifeanyichukwu Okereke. What was going on in the agent’s mind to fire an unarmed citizen three times? We demand outrightly that the prosecution must be an open one and not the one done in secret and that while answering to it the Speaker vacates his seat as the Fourth Citizen of our country. That is the way to go if he truly feels “shaken” by this senseless death.
“As we know it, life has no duplicate and anyone involved in an act that leads to loss of life of another must be made to face the law. No amount of money given to the family of the deceased can take away the pain and agony from them in this tragic period of bereavement and so the law must take its full course to serve as deterrent to other trigger-happy security agents and their VIP principals.
“The Speaker of the federal House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila should resign his position as the Speaker to avoid any form of interference of his office in the matter. As our former president Dr. Goodluck Jonathan will always say ” my ambition is not worth the life of any Nigerian” . The Speaker should tow the path of honour because the office he occupies is an exalted one which should demand respect of lives and fundamental rights of citizens, no matter their status.