Nigerian Community Responds to the Killing of a 19-Year-Old Student by Canadian Police

In response to the death of 19-year-old Afolabi Stephen, a Nigerian student, on December 31, 2023, at the hands of Canadian police, members of the Nigerian Association of Manitoba have asked for calm.

According to a statement the Winnipeg, Manitoba Police Department made public on its website, its officers responded to a report of a young man who was acting strangely.

The police reported that the armed individual challenged its men upon arrival, and after unsuccessful attempts to resolve the situation,  a firearm was discharged. 

The young man was transported to the hospital in serious condition, but his injuries were so severe that he passed away.

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.”

Reacting to the demise, 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.Keyede also warned Nigerians to avoid engaging in any activity that could cause tension or hinder the investigation process.

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 December 31 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.”