Tragedy Strikes Garki Market: DSS Officers Kills Fashion Designer
A tragic incident occurred on September 7th, 2023 at the famous Garki International Market in Abuja, Nigeria. According to reports, a dispute between a female customer, a fashion designer named Muhammad Habibu, and a Department of State Services (DSS) operative turned deadly when the operative opened fire, killing Habibu and injuring others.
The situation began when the female customer brought the DSS operative to Habibu's shop, allegedly over a failed delivery of clothes by an agreed date. When some of Habibu's colleagues tried to intervene in the heated argument between the three, the DSS agent reacted aggressively and began shooting.
In the chaos that ensued, Habibu was fatally shot while at least one other person sustained injuries. The DSS operative was quickly arrested by police and detained at the Wuse Market Police Station. Understandably outraged, some local youths reacted angrily at the killing and attempted to confront the DSS personnel, causing damage to the police outpost at the market.
According to an eyewitness account from a trader at the market who spoke anonymously, “A female customer of the fashion designer brought the DSS. She said the fashion designer did not sew her clothes. Her colleagues joined and defended her. The issue led to a serious argument. We later heard a gunshot and learnt that the fashion designer had been killed and another injured. The DSS operative was arrested and detained at Wuse Market Police Station. That is where all our people are now.”
In an official statement, the spokesperson for the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, SP Josephine Adeh, provided details on the authorities' response to the distressing incident:
“In an incident at Garki International Market on September 7, 2023, an altercation arose between market occupants and certain individuals, including a DSS personnel and a tailor named Muhammad Habibu. The Garki Divisional Police station mobilised officers in response to a received distress call reporting the invasion of the market by these individuals, who fired shots at a tailor known as Mubarak Mubarak.”
Adeh further explained, “This incident led to some of the local youths reacting angrily and attempting to confront the DSS personnel involved. In response, the police intervened to rescue the individuals and protect public safety. During the incident, there was damage to a section of the Police outpost as some of the irate youths acted in a disorderly manner. It is important to note that some weapons used in the commotion have been recovered, and normalcy has now been restored.”
The Police Commissioner emphasized that the Command is committed to maintaining peace in the FCT and respecting citizens' rights. He encouraged market occupants to refrain from damaging public property and to utilize the emergency police lines for assistance when necessary.
In their own statement, the DSS spokesperson Peter Afunanya said the Service commenced an investigation into the matter and will take disciplinary action against any staff found culpable. The DSS assured proper procedures will be followed in dealing with the public.
This distressing incident at a bustling marketplace in the nation's capital has left the public reeling. Muhammad Habibu was a promising young fashion designer whose life was tragically cut short over what appears to be a misunderstanding gone terribly wrong.
The loss of life is always regrettable, but the circumstances make Habibu's death particularly senseless and difficult to comprehend. Witness accounts paint a confounding picture – how could an argument over delayed clothing escalate to deadly gunfire? Many are rightly demanding answers and accountability.
Nigerians will watch closely as the police investigation unfolds along with the DSS inquiry. It is imperative that a full, transparent review of events takes place to understand exactly what transpired. Any abuse of power or violation of rules must carry consequences.
Citizens will also reflect on the need for non-violent conflict resolution, particularly in public spaces. Impulsive aggression, whether by security agents or aggrieved citizens, often leads to unnecessary harm. A more patient, understanding approach could have prevented this tragedy.
The fashion community mourns the loss of one of its own in Muhammad Habibu. One can only imagine what creative heights he may have achieved with his talents. His memory will hopefully inspire others to pursue their passions peacefully.
The Garki Market shooting resonates across Nigeria as yet another instance of insecurity and lack of safety for average citizens. Many will question whether security forces meant to protect can also be swift sources of harm. It further highlights the need for wide-ranging reforms to policing and law enforcement.
As FCT grapples with this latest misfortune, authorities must strengthen efforts to uphold peace, law, and order. Genuine justice is still possible, even if it comes too late for the promising life of Muhammad Habibu. His loved ones and all Nigerians deserve no less.