Members of the Nigerian Association of Manitoba have mourned the passing of a 19-year-old Nigerian, Afolabi Stephen, who was killed by policemen on December 31, 2023.
Though the details of his death are still sketchy, the Winnipeg, Manitoba Police Department, in a statement posted on its website via Winnipeg.ca, said its officers responded to a call about a young male who was acting “erratically”.
The police noted that upon arrival, efforts to calm the young man proved abortive which led to the discharge of a firearm by the police which ultimately led to his death.
The statement read, “On December 31, 2023, at approximately 2:22 pm, the Winnipeg Police Service responded to an apartment suite in the first 100 block of University Crescent for a 911 call regarding a male acting erratically. The caller advised the male may be armed and there were other people in the suite.
“Upon police arrival, they were confronted by an armed male. During this encounter, an officer discharged his firearm, striking the male. Officers provided immediate medical care and ensured the well-being of all other parties on the scene. Nobody else was injured.
“The male was transported to the hospital in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries.”
Mourning his death, the Nigerian Association in Manitoba, Canada in a statement signed by its President, Vera Keyede, offered condolences to the family of the deceased while urging the Nigerian community to stay calm while investigations continue.
The statement read, “The Nigerian Association of Manitoba wishes to express her deepest concern and regret over the unfortunate incident involving the shooting that led to the death of a Nigerian international student, by the Winnipeg Police Service on the 31st of December 2023.
“We extend our condolences to the deceased family and friends. We understand the anxiety, frustration, sadness and distress this incident has caused within our community. We plead with everyone not to engage in any activity that may cause any tension or hinder the process of investigation and the law.
“This is a challenging time for all of us, we need the Nigerian community to remain calm and composed as investigations are underway. We acknowledge the community’s right to seek answers and justice for one of our own. NAMI is closely monitoring the situation and seeking guidance on how to proceed.
“NAMI will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available to us. We extend our support to those directly or indirectly affected by this unfortunate incident and we cannot over-emphasise the need for solidarity during these challenging times.”
The PUNCH, in a recent report, revealed that in the last seven years, about 300 Nigerians have been murdered extrajudicially in foreign nations.
In 2022, the Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, spoke about how Nigerians were being killed in Northern Cyprus for no known reason.
According to her, 13 Nigerians had been killed in Northern Cyprus in six years without any resolution.