Members of the Nigerian Association of Manitoba are grieving the loss of Afolabi Stephen, a 19-year-old Nigerian who tragically lost his life at the hands of policemen on December 31, 2023.
While the circumstances surrounding his demise remain unclear, the Winnipeg, Manitoba Police Department, in a statement on Winnipeg.ca, explained that their officers were responding to a call concerning a young male exhibiting “erratic” behavior.
Upon reaching the scene, attempts to pacify the young man proved futile, resulting in the discharge of a firearm by the police, ultimately leading to his death.
The official statement disclosed, “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.”
Expressing their sorrow, the Nigerian Association in Manitoba, Canada, conveyed condolences to the bereaved family in a statement signed by President Vera Keyede. The association urged the Nigerian community to remain composed while investigations unfold.
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… This is a challenging time for all of us, we need the Nigerian community to remain calm and composed as investigations are underway.”
Acknowledging the community’s right to seek justice, the association emphasized the importance of solidarity during these trying times and pledged to provide updates as more information surfaces.
In a related report, The PUNCH disclosed that over the past seven years, approximately 300 Nigerians have been extrajudicially murdered in foreign nations. In 2022, the Chairperson of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, highlighted the killings of Nigerians in Northern Cyprus, citing 13 deaths in six years without resolution.