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Gbajabiamila creates trust fund for slain newspaper vendor

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Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila signing the condolence register of the slain newspaper vendor, Ifeanyi Elechi, at Area 1 Vendor Stand in Abuja…yesterday  
Colleagues want him immortalised
• Seek prosecution of killer security aide
• Reps to honour deceased tomorrow

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has announced the creation of a trust fund for children of the newspaper vendor, Ifeanyi Okereke, who was shot dead by his security aide, Abdullahi Hassan.

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Gbajabiamila made the disclosure yesterday when he paid a condolence visit to members of the Abuja Newspapers Distributors Association (ANDA). In his entourage was the spokesman of the House, Benjamin Kalu, and some aides.

The late Okereke was shot dead by Hassan when newspaper vendors clamped round the convoy of Gbajabiamila to salute him as he made his way out of the National Assembly complex on Thursday. The victim was rushed to the National Hospital, Abuja, by his colleagues after being hit by the bullet but was confirmed dead on arrival at the hospital.

Gbajabiamila, who said he had been worried and traumatised since the incident occurred, assured the vendors that the killer would be brought to justice.

He said the House of Representatives would tomorrow schedule its plenary for half-day in honour of the deceased.

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“I have been in deep mourning since Thursday. It has been a very difficult time for me. The newspaper vendors have always been there for me and even while vying for the speakership position, you campaigned for me.

“The decease was a hardworking citizen. When I visited his family yesterday and carried the one-week-old child, I was emotional because I know I was standing as a pseudo father for the child. I made a commitment to the family to take care of them because those children have now become mine. I have informed my lawyer to set up a trust fund for the education of the children,” he stated.

President of ANDA, Benji Obute, urged Gbajabiamila to immortalise the deceased and ensure the perpetrator is brought to justice.

He said the speaker had shown uncommon love to the vendors since the incident happened, adding that his colleagues had been deeply traumatised.

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