The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has stated that the attack on The Nation newspaper and Television Continental (TVC), is an attack on free press. The media houses were attacked by hoodlums during the curfew following the unfortunate hijack of #EndSARS protests.
The Minister disclosed this during a visit to the burnt sites of the media houses in Lagos on Saturday alongside the Chairman of The Nation Newspaper, Mr. Wale Edun, and the Managing Director of TVC, Mr. Andrew Hanlon.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported on the 21st of October, 2020, that Television Continental (TVC) station in Ikosi-Ketu, Lagos was reportedly on fire, as some hoodlums allegedly attacked the building.
Morayo Afolabi Brown, who anchors the programme, ‘Your View’ on TVC, disclosed during a live show that some people were at the gate of the TV station, trying to force their way into the premises.
Nairametrics also reported that Channels Television and Lagos State Television (LTV) were attacked and shut down by unknown persons. According to a staff of Channels TV, the Management moved them to a safe location within the premises, when hoodlums kept banging the gate in a frantic attempt to gain access to the premises.
Lai Mohammed said on Saturday that the attack was a threat to free speech and also an Attack on Democracy.
“We believe that the attack on the Nation is not just an attack on the Vintage Press, it’s an attack on the free press, it’s an attack on democracy because there can be no virile and robust democracy without a free media.
“Therefore, an attack on the Nation or any media house is a direct attack on freedom of speech and also democracy and, honestly, we believe that there is no justification whatsoever for the attack,” he said.
He added that the fact the media houses resumed operations is a sign of the resilience of Nigerian media and a big blow to the hoodlums.
“The fact that within a few days you were able to return to the stand and on air, I think it’s a big blow to the attackers, who thought they could shut out the light of press freedom,” the Minister said.
He disclosed that the FG will continue its support to Nigerian journalism and prayed for a quick recovery back to full operations.