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Witness says mob that attacked TVC went to destroy not to kill

Witness says mob that attacked TVC went to destroy not to kill

44 vehicles, 4 outside broadcasting (OB) vans, 3 production control rooms, 2 master control room (MCR) studio play-out machines were completely burnt.

Television Continental head office in the Ketu area of Lagos was burnt down by angry mob on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (Premium Times)

Mark Odigie, husband of Tope, a co-host of TVC’s show, ‘Your View’ says the mob that recently attacked Television Continental’s head office didn’t go to kill but to destroy.

Narrating his encounter with the mob and how he saved his wife, who was trapped in the building, Odigie in said the mob were not hoodlums but educated people who spoke good English.

Following the curfew imposed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Tuesday, October 20, 2020, Odigie said he drove his wife to the media house at Ketu on Wednesday and decided to wait for her in the car since her show is scheduled to end by 11:00 am.

But while waiting to take his wife back home, a mob attacked the TV station with dangerous weapons while staff and security operatives in the premises ran for their lives.

He said he watched as the attackers set his car, the building and other vehicles ablaze, adding that the arsonists are too “sophisticated attackers to be called miscreants”.

Over 40 vehicles were set ablaze by angry mob at TVC (Premium Times) Over 40 vehicles were set ablaze by angry mob at TVC (Premium Times)

He said, “I couldn’t call these guys miscreants. They were pretty much educated and spoke good English. They were very organised, and chanted; No killing, just destroy, we have our targets.

“It was at that point that I began to wonder what was really going on. They were very clear about what they came for.”

Odigie said his wife and her colleague, Morayo Afolabi-Brown, cameramen and a few technical officers who were in the studio could not notice the danger around them because of the soundproofing in the studio.

Suddenly, I developed a heart of stone and decided to go in because I wanted to rescue my wife. I felt whatever that would happen should happen. So I begged a few TVC workers who were also standing at the CMD gate, to join me. About five of them summoned courage and agreed to go in with me. Some ladies kept shouting and were crying as if we were going to die.

“So we went in and saw hundreds of attackers. They shouted at us asking us who we were. We raised our hands and simply replied; “We are with you.” We told them our colleagues were still in there. And surprisingly, they listened to us. They told us they already rescued everybody. They said they were not interested in killing anyone.”

“So they took us to the back where we met another crowd who were throwing petrol bombs and chanting “no killing, no killing.” As soon as we were brought before them the crowd charged at us, but one of them that led us there quickly took charge and explained what happened,” he said.

Before setting the station on fire, Odigie said the arsonists had taken his wife and her colleagues to Oshonaike community, near the station.

He said they were at the community “until the coast was clear for us to move, and we were led out of the community to a path leading to Magodo”.

According to him, the management of both the television and the radio stations has said that a total of 44 vehicles, four outside broadcasting (OB) vans, three production control rooms, two master control room (MCR) studio play-out machines were completely burnt in the incident.

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