By Ikechukwu Okaforadi and Musa Adamu
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has expressed sadness over the avoidable loss of lives in the violent clash of members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria with security agents deployed to maintain law and order in Abuja.
In a statement issued by Ola Awoniyi, Special Adviser on Media to the President of the Senate, senator Lawan expressed his condolences to the management of Channels Television on the tragic death of their reporter, Precious Owolabi, in the incident.
The President of the Senate said it is tragic that a brilliant life and professional prospect was abruptly cut short in a manner that diminishes us as citizens of a democratic nation.
Lawan extended his condolences to the family of Mr Owolabi, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) on the painful loss of their son, member and colleague.
He also sent his condolences to the family of Usman Umar and the Nigeria Police over the death of their son and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) during the incident.
Lawan sympathised with the families of other victims of the tragic incident.
The President of the Senate condemned the habitual resort to violence by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria under the guise of the exercise of their rights to freedom of association and expression.
Senator Lawan also deplored the excessive use of force by the security agents on the protesters, calling on the security agencies to evolve a new approach for peaceful enforcement of law and order, even in the face of provocations.
Finally, the Senate President urged the Federal Government to find a speedy resolution to the agitation by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, within the context of the rule of law and national peace and security.
“All lawful options need to be considered towards avoiding carnage from needless confrontations of citizens with the security forces”, he said.