Presidential Aide, Asefon Sunday, Calls For Justice Over Nigerian Student Killed By Canadian Police
The Senior Special Assistant To The President of Nigeria on Students Engagement, Hon. Comrade Sunday Dayo Asefon has expressed his anger over the killing of Stephen Afolabi Opaso, a Nigerian Student who was studying in the University of Manitoba Canada.
Comrade Asefon described the killing as barbaric, cruel and heartless and vowed to engage the High commission of Canada in Nigeria, and further collaborate with the Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairperson of NIDCOM to ensure that the unfortunate killing is not swept under the carpet.
The late Stephen Afolabi Opaso, a 19-year-old Nigerian international student in Canada identified as fondly called Zigi by peers, was shot dead by by the Winnipeg Police Service in Manitoba on December 31, 2023.
The deceased was alleged to be wielding a knife at the time of the encounter and had mental health crisis at the time of the incident.
The Winnipeg Police in their statement, acknowledged the confrontation with an armed male but provided limited details.
“On December 31, 2023, at approximately 2:22 p.m., 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.
During this encounter, an officer discharged their firearm, striking the male. Officers provided immediate medical care and ensured the well-being of all other parties on scene. Nobody else was injured.
The male was transported to hospital in critical condition and succumbed to his injuries,” the statement read.
Hon. Asefon said that the impression in the public as gathered during an interaction with the official National Association of Nigerian students NANS earlier on the case is that the killing was racially motivated as the demised student was not welding a gun at the time of the incident and that the police officers would have acted differently if he were to be a white.
He thus appeal to NANS and the entire Nigerian students to remain calm, vowed to follow the case up deligently untill the Canadian authorities give true account of the death of the Nigerian Student and compensate his family accordingly to avoid a diplomatic row that may lead to the closure of their embassy in Nigeria by Nigerian student Apex body NANS as earlier threatened if no action is taken by Federal Government of Nigeria within 3 working days.
He further called on Nigerian Students in Canada to also remain peaceful as his office will ensure that justice is served.