Precious Owolabi: Dusk at Dawn

By Eric Elezuo

The death of University of Ilorin graduate and a reporter with Channels Television, Precious Ayo Owolabi, came to many as a rude shock, and to others as a consequence of a failed nation in dire need of salvation.

Precious, a youth corps member, was covering the clash between security agents and violent Shiite protesters when a stray bullet hit him in the stomach, killing him shortly afterwards.

While the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Adamu, has promised to fish out the perpetrators at no certain time, more Nigerians are skeptical of the outcome, expressing fear that it will go like the others – swept under the carpet.

However, whether the culprits are found or not, a life in its prime has been cut short, unavoidably killed while on duty for both country and Channels TV.

Ayo, as most of his close friends call him, had his lofty dreams…dreams of revolutionalising the film industry in addition to practicing frontline journalism, but militants’ or is it Police bullets silenced those lofty dreams. His parents in Zaria, Kaduna State where he grew up are left forlon and so are his loved ones.

It is not known how long the Shiite/Police clash will last, or what the Federal government is doing to put an end to such clashes, but it is sad to imagine how many more lives will be wasted in the coming days as a result of the imbroglio between those two.

The Shiites are calling for the release of their leader, Sheik El-Zakzaky, who has been incarcerated by the President Muhammadu Buhari led government. The Muslim leader was arrested in December 2015, and ever since, has been remained incommunicado, notwithstanding several court judgements for his unconditional release. The President has confided that the reason for holding El-Zakzaky bothers on national security, but his followers will hear that, and so escalates the crises. The issue is taking a terrible turn as even the Islamic republic of Iran has taken an unusual interest. No one can tell how it will all end.

Precious is gone, and so is Deputy Commissioner of Police Umar, who was also hit by bullet on the same day. Dreams have been shattered and homes depressed, and so the Federal government should wake up to some responsibilities.

And is it not time adequate security is provided youth corps members wherever they go?

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