The broad hole left on the double-layer wall of the central studio of the Television Continental (TVC) told the extent of the wreck inflicted on the station.
No thanks to the arsonists who invaded the TV station located in Ikosi area of Lagos State last week, in the wake of the violence instigated by the youth demonstration against police brutality.
Transmission gadgets, state-of-the-art studios, production rooms and operational vehicles, all gone up in flames by the time the hoodlums left the station’s premises.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday, visited the management and staff of the TV station to console them over the incident.
TVC’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Andrew Hanlon, led top management staff of the media organisation to receive Sanwo-Olu and his team, among which included the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Chief of Staff, Mr. Gboyega Soyannwo, and Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso.
Hanlon took the Governor round the main auditorium, which was the hub of the TV station’s operation. It was completely razed.
The auditorium housed three main studios, three control rooms, three master control rooms and central transmission laboratory said to have been equipped with the modern communication gadgets worth millions of dollars.
All left in the building were charred materials.
The TV station boss told Sanwo-Olu that more than 250 production staff working in the razed building had been out of work since the incident happened. He added that over 500 direct employees of the station had been struggling to work in temporary accommodation put up by the company.
Hanlon said: “After the rioters invaded our premises and set the place on fire, some buildings in the premises survived. But the main transmission building is completely destroyed and it was the hub of our operations. The rioters cast fear and terror in the hearts of our employees when they broke in last week’s Wednesday morning.
“People’s hard work and huge investment that went down into the TV station were destroyed in a period of about an hour. The incident was really traumatising for all of us. The rioters left immense devastation. The entire interior of the building was destroyed. This is all that is left of our bubbling building, which was a centrepiece. Thankfully, no member of staff died in the incident.”
Hanlon said the immediate priority before the management of the TV station was to ensure that all direct employees were looked after, stressing that the means of livelihood of thousands of indirect workers attached to the brand had been threatened.
He said efforts were being taken to return TVC back to its full operations, promising that the station would bounce back stronger than it was.
The Governor was also shown a wreck of burnt vehicles belonging to the station and employees.