REPs to receive Abuja Vendors on Tuesday as Gbaja promises to sponsor slain vendor’s two children.

Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila has said the Tuesday sitting would be dedicated to paying tributes to a Newspaper vendor who died after being shot in Abuja last Thursday.

A Department of State Services (DSS) operative attached to the Speaker’s office reportedly fired the bullet that killed the vendor, Ifeanyi Emmanuel Okeke, alias Elechi.

Gbajabiamila made this known when he paid a condolence visit to the Abuja Newspapers Vendors and Distributors Associations in Abuja on Sunday.

The Speaker said even though the House’s order paper is already parked with important national issues for deliberation, the leadership has resolved to devote a substantial part of its time to pay tributes to the late vendor.

He said the House would also observe the day as a “Half Sitting Day.”

He invited the executive and some members of the Abuja Newspaper Vendors Association and the Abuja Newspaper Distributors Association to be part of the sitting.

He said he has been in mourning mood since the unfortunate incident occurred.

The Speaker had also visited the wife, children and family members of the late Elechi in Suleja, Niger State, on Saturday.

Gbajabiamila said he has directed the legal department of his office to set up a foundation trust to immortalise the late Elechi and take care of the immediate family.

He said that he will take care of the education and welfare needs of the two children of the deceased vendor till they attain 21.

He insisted the incident would not stop his cordial relationship he had built over time with the vendors who ply their trade on the streets on daily basis.

He said that he would ensure that all the requests made by the two associations are met.

Spokesman of the House, Benjamin Kalu, said the lawmakers would work to make November 19th of every year a “Vendors’ Day.”

Chairman of the Abuja Newspaper Vendors Association, Etim Iwara and the President of the Abuja Newspaper Distributors Association, Chief Benji Obute, welcomed the Speaker to their premises at Area 1, Abuja.

The duo thanked the Speaker for the steps he has taken so far to mitigate the loss of Elechi.

They appreciated him for personally visiting the family of the late Elechi at Okereke’s family home in Kwata village in the Madalla/Suleja area of Niger State and the association.

They urged the Speaker to use his good offices to ensure justice for Elechi through the diligent prosecution of the DSS operative that shot the vendor.

They also urged the Speaker to build a structure in their premises at Area 1, Abuja to immortalise Elechi.

The incident, which occurred at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, around 3 pm on Thursday, had caused panic in the area.

The victim was taken to the National Hospital by his brother and some police officers, where he eventually died.

It was learnt that the shooting happened when Okereke and other street vendors selling on the Shehu Shagari Way, Three Arms Zone, flocked around the convoy of the Speaker, who was said to be in the habit of giving out money anytime he passed them.

Gbajabiamila had later confirmed that the killer security aide is an operative of the Department of State Services.



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