Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT council, has condemned the killing of a Channels Television reporter, identified as Precious Owolabi, who died while covering the clashes between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), and the police in Abuja.
FCT NUJ chairman, Emmanuel Ogbeche, who made this known in a statement described the death of Precious Owolabi as one too many.
Owolabi, a corps member serving with Channels TV, was amongst those killed in a clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the police in Abuja on Monday afternoon.
The NUJ in the statement issued late 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 Ogbeche, read.
He 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.
He called on the Federal government to demonstrate its seriousness in addressing the pervading insecurity in the land 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 is inevitable, journalists should always take into account, the environment they are reporting from so that they don’t become the ‘story.’
Ogbeche expressed the hope that the government would 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.