THE Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council, on Tuesday commiserated with Channels Television management over the unfortunate death of Precious Owolabi, one of its reporters in Abuja.
The Chairman of the union, Dr Qasim Akinreti, said in Lagos, that the union sympathised with the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) and family of the corps member, Owolabi, who was shot on Monday while on duty.
The death of Owolabi, who was undergoing one year compulsory NYSC at Channel TV in Abuja occurred while covering the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) protest and clash with the security agencies.
“NUJ Lagos council is deeply sad that the late Precious Owolabi paid the supreme price to his fatherland and the Journalism profession.
“The union condemns in strong terms, assault on and killing of Nigerian journalists by any group and the inability of the state apparatus to protect journalists on the line of duty.
“We appealed to the Nigerian state to have a critical look at the threat to national security by the IMN group and follow the path of rule of law on their demands as quickly as possible.
“It is instructive to avoid another potential national security threat that is capable of metamorphosing into terrorism activity,” he said in a statement.
According to Akinreti, a similar situation snowballed into the emergence of Boko Haram which has taken its toll on Nigeria and some West African countries.
“We pray for the repose of the soul of our late colleague and pray for his family to bear the irreparable loss.
“We also condole with NYSC and its management over the loss of a young promising Nigerian on active service to the nation.
“The NUJ Lagos State Council calls on media organisations to ensure that journalists sent to cover protests or conflicts henceforth are equipped with life vests and other protective head gear,” Akinreti said.
The chairman noted that the current development once again brought to the fore the safety of Nigerian journalists while carrying out their constitutional mandate.
He said the union recalled that years back, Channels TV lost another young and promising reporter in similar circumstances in Kano.
JULY 23, 2019 14:05 GMT