UPDATED: Channels TV reporter, Owolabi shot during Shi’ites protest is dead
The Channels Television reporter shot at the scene of the clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), better known as Shiites, and the police is dead.
His death was announced during the 10pm news bulletin of the station.
He was identified as Precious Owolabi, a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The 23-year-old died of a gunshot wound he sustained while covering the clash between the police and the Shiite protesters on Monday in Abuja.
Reacting to the news of Owolabi’s death, the management and staff of Channels Television said they 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.
Similarly, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council, described the death of Precious Owolabi on Monday as one too many.
The NUJ in a statement 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.
According to Ogbeche, 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.
He 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.
The NUJ chairman said that while death was inevitable, journalists should always take into account the environment they were reporting from and not become the ‘story.’
Ogbeche expressed the hope that the government will compensate the family of the deceased who was on a national assignment.
The NUJ prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest while condoling with his family, Channels TV and journalists in general.