Reps to dedicate Tuesday’s sitting for tribute to slain Abuja Vendor

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Tobi Adetunji

The Speaker of the House of Representative, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, has said that Tuesday’s sitting would be dedicated to paying tributes to a Newspaper vendor who died after being shot in Abuja last Thursday.

The 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 filled 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 observe the day as a “Half Sitting Day.”

He invited the executive and some members of 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 invited the wife, children and family members of the late Elechi in Suleja, Niger State on Saturday.

Gbajabaimila said he has directed the legal department of his office to set up a foundation trust to immortalize 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 and the association.

They urged the Speaker to use his good office 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 immortalize Elechi.

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