Precious Owolabi, a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving with Channels Television in Abuja, has died after sustaining gunshot wounds during Monday’s violent clash between the police and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
Channels TV confirmed the 23-year-old reporter’s death in a news broadcast at 10pm on Monday. He was a graduate of University of Ilorin (UNILORIN).
Members of the group popularly called Shiites numbering about 3,000 were said to have stormed the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since December 2015.
Although at least six members of the group were reported killed, the police say it lost a Deputy Commissioner of Police, DCP Usman Umar in the fracas. Umar was until his death the DCP in charge of Operations at the FCT Command of the Nigeria Police Force.
The police further say 54 Shiites have been arrested and would be prosecuted for the incident.
Nigerians have however taken to Twitter to mourn Owolabi, calling for an end to hostilities between the police and the Shiites.
The presidential candidate of the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the 2019 general election, Prof. Kingsley Moghalu condoled with the families of Owolabi and DCP Umar.
My condolences to the family of Precious Owolabi, the @channelstv reporter and @NaijaCorpers shot dead today during a Shiite-police clash in Abuja. President @MBuhari should act fast to “cool temper” all around. Nigeria is on the brink! My condolences too to DCP Umar’s family.
— Kingsley Moghalu (@MoghaluKingsley) July 22, 2019
Another young life killed by Govt Of Buhari. Precious Owolabi the Youth Corper serving with channels TV ws shot dead
— Imade Ize-Iyamu (@ImadeIzeIyamu) July 22, 2019
BREAKING: Another "Leader of Tomorrow" wasted during a clash between Shiites and the police. Precious Owolabi a reporter with Channels Television has died after sustaining a gunshot wound to the stomach. Owolabi was a National Youth Service Corps member.
Sad & unfortunate!!! pic.twitter.com/9OPz2gF4yN
— AJMorgan™ (@ajeromorgan) July 23, 2019
Journalist colleagues say the @channelstv Reporter (NYSC Corps Member), Precious Owolabi, who was unfortunately shot in the Police-Shi'ite clash/fracas in Abuja today is dead as a result of the fatal injuries sustained from bullet wounds.
— Sumner Shagari Sambo (@Sumner_Sambo) July 22, 2019
With much pain in my heart, tears in my eyes and a sad face,I still don't want to believe it but Precious Owolabi of @channelstv is dead😭just last year we graduated together from #unilorin just last year we shot a movie together@unilorinnews
RIP Precious Owolabi
Rest in peace😭
— ThatBrokeBoyToma (@OnifotoToma) July 23, 2019
I am very angry right now with the sad news concerning Precious Owolabi who died after he was shot during Shiites protest in Abuja yesterday.
May his rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/HaWHpYUOMG
— BelieveAll (BelieveSpot.Com) (@BelieveAllCom) July 23, 2019
Now the Shiites' despicable resort to violence and terror has claimed the life of Precious Owolabi, a young man serving as a reporter with Channels TV. Such a sad day.
— akomitipoju (@EniolaSa) July 22, 2019