The Abuja chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has described the death of Precious Owolabi, who died after he was shot at the scene of the clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shi’ites, and the police on Monday, as one too many.
Naija News had reported earlier that the death of the reporter was announced during the 10 pm news bulletin of the station on Monday, July 22.
This online news platform understands that late Owolabi was identified as a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
A statement released by Channels TV said: “The management and staff of Channels Television are greatly saddened by the untimely and unfortunate death of such a promising journalist.
“They pray that God will grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, and avail his soul eternal rest.”
Reacting, the Abuja NUJ in a statement on Monday night, expressed deep sadness over Owolabi’s death, stressing that it was another sad day for the journalism profession in Nigeria.
“The death of Precious Owolabi signifies how brutish and short life has become in Nigeria and signposts the danger faced by journalists daily in carrying out the constitutional mandate of holding government and its officials accountable to Nigerians,” a statement by Emmanuel Ogbeche, chairman of the NUJ FCT Council, read.
The chairman of the NUJ FCT Council said the federal government should take responsibility for the senseless death of Owolabi as it was its constitutional duty to safeguard his welfare and security as well as those of other Nigerians.
Ogbeche called on the federal government to demonstrate its seriousness in addressing the pervading insecurity by finding an amicable resolution to the grievances of the IMN to avoid further needless deaths in the country.
He said that while death was inevitable, journalists should always take into account the environment they were reporting from and not become the ‘story.’
Speaking further, Ogbeche expressed optimism that the government will compensate the family of the deceased who was on a national assignment.
The NUJ prayed to God to grant the deceased eternal rest while condoling with his family, Channels TV, and journalists in general.