Monday, April 12, 2021

Nigerian beauty queen shot dead in U.S.

The shooting is part of a recent wave of gun violence in Philadelphia.

• April 1, 2021
Najeebat Sule
Najeebat Sule

A 24-year-old Nigerian woman has been shot by an unknown gunman in the United State of America, throwing her family and friends into deep mourning.

Najeebat Sule, a former Nigeria beauty queen and a doctoral student at the West Chester University of Pennsylvania, was fatally shot by an unidentified gunman on March 12 while sitting inside her car, outside her parent’s house.

She was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Ms Sule and her family left Nigeria for the U.S. in the early 2000s. Her father, Adewale, recounted the sordid event.

“I saw the guy shooting my daughter. He shot the last round, and I pursued him. He ran back to his car,” Mr Sule told Daily Mail

Her mother, Tawakalitu, remains inconsolable. She said, ‘All of my children have been crying every day because of their big sister. They miss her. I miss my daughter.”

The victim is also survived by two sisters who are currently living in an undisclosed location out of fear for their lives. 

Ms Sule’s friend, Habitat Maraji, with whom she shared moments before her death said she couldn’t believe her friend was gone.

“I got a call that something had happened and I was, like, ‘No there has been a mistake.’ I’m waiting for her to reply to my text. She literally had texted me at 5:30, Maraji said.

The Miss Nigeria International Pageant organisation announced her death on its Facebook page on March 19. 

“In spite of the highly competitive nature of beauty pageants, Queen Najeebat took it all in stride and easily made friends with all the other girls and fostered an environment where most of the girls became like sisters. 

“Although she was the second runner up in the contest, she was genuinely happy for the girl that emerged as the winner and cheered her on as though she was her own sister,” the tribute read in part.

However, the U.S. police are yet to identify the suspect and have found no clue or motive behind the victim’s death.

The shooting is part of a recent wave of gun violence in Philadelphia. 

According to the Philadelphia Police Department statistics, over 120 victims of homicide have been recorded in 2021. Last year 356 cases were reported in the city of Philadelphia, the second-highest in the U.S. 

“This is unacceptable”, Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said on Wednesday during a meeting about the latest crime statistics, stressing that “these are human beings that we are talking about.”

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