Senate President, Sen. Ahmed Lawan

Lawan blasts Shi’ites over ‘habitual resort to violence’

NEWS DIGEST–Senate President Ahmed Lawan chided members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria over what he called their “habitual resort to violence”, under the “guise of the exercise of their rights to freedom of association and expression.”

Lawan said this in a condolence message signed by Ola Awoniyi, his Special Adviser on Media on Tuesday, wherein, he commiserated with Channels Television, over the death of its reporter, Precious Owolabi, the Nigeria Police Force over the death of Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar and the families of the other victims.

The statement said, “The President of the Senate strongly condemns 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 deplores the excessive use of force by the security agencies on the protesters. He calls on the security agencies to evolve a new approach for peaceful enforcement of law and order, even in the face of provocations.”

The statement added, “The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has expressed profound 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 on Monday, July 22, 2019.

“Senator Lawan expresses 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 says 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 extends 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 sends 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. He sympathises with the families of other victims of the incident.”

The Senate President went on to urge the Federal Government to resolve the matter with the Shiites soon.

“Finally, the President of the Senate urges 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,” he said.