By Emmanuel Iriogbe, Abuja.
The Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council, has put the blame of the death of Precious Owolabi, a corps member serving with Channels TV, squarely on the Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government.
Owolabi had his life was cut short Monday, was amongst those killed in a clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as members of the shiite muslim sect and the police, Monday in Abuja,
The NUJ in a statement, Monday night, made available to PenPushers. On-line, Ogbeche expressed deep sadness over Owolabi’s death, stressing that it was another sad day for the journalism profession in Nigeria and put the blame on the federal government for not living up to its responsibility of protecting the lives of the citizens.
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.
Ogbeche said 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,’
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.’
He 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.
PenPushers On-line, recall that the Shi’ite members have embarked on series of peaceful protests calling for the release of their leader, Sheik El-Zazzaky who has been in detention.
The federal government it will also recall has refused to honour court orders granting the spiritual leader bail.
However, the protests went violent in recent days with the sect members clashing with security operatives. They accuse the government of attempts to kill their leader in detention while alleging that he has been blinded through torture in the hands of government agents.