Some media houses were looted in the melee which occurred during the ongoing #EndSARS saga, notably The Nation and Television Continental (TVC) which were looted on Wednesday, 21st October, 2020.
Meanwhile the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has expressed sympathy with The Nation newspaper, TVC, LTV and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). MURIC’s message to the media came via a press statement issued by its Director and Founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Saturday, 24th October, 2020.
The statement reads:
“We have confirmed reports of attacks on some media houses. The Nation newspaper was looted. Continental Television (TVC) was partly burned. Unconfirmed report said Lagos Television (LTV 8) was also attacked. All these attacks were attributed to hoodlums who infiltrated peaceful protesters.
“We are deeply disturbed by these attacks on media houses. We as a non-governmental organization (NGO) rely on the press to reach out to the public. The press in general has contributed immensely to the ability of various organisations to interact and there is no gainsaying the fact that the media is the voice of the voiceless. Any attack on the media is therefore an attack on the downtrodden masses.
“It is on this bases that we conclude that the hoodlums who attacked these media houses acted in ignorance. They have attacked those who have been promoting their interests. Besides, hundreds could be rendered jobless by attacking media houses.
“It is in this respect that we strongly denounce the attacks. How can we blame government and private entrepreneurs for lack of jobs when we senselessly use our hands to destroy workplaces where hundreds of fellow Nigerians earn their living? Salaries may not be fully paid or may not be paid at all for months as the employers struggle to replace vehicles and equipment burnt or carted away.
“MURIC hereby expresses heartfelt sympathy with the Nation newspaper, TVC, LTV, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and all those affected by the attacks, particularly the owners of the media houses and the non-journalist staff. We pray that Allah will replenish their sources of income to enable them replace, rebuild and recover all losses suffered during the attack.
“We remind Nigerians that attacks on businesses tend to vindicate some Nigerians in the diaspora who refuse to come back home to set up businesses. Yet millions of Nigerians are looking for jobs. We are simply cutting our noses to spite our faces. Burning and looting are attacks on civilization. They are counter-productive. We may think we are only punishing some individuals but we are setting a very dangerous precedent. Such attacks discourage Nigerian businessmen from establishing businesses within the country and providing jobs for Nigerians. Attacks on business concerns also lead to capital flight.
“Finally, we appeal to Nigerians to have an attitudinal change. While we agree that protest is an Allah-given fundamental human right, protesters must respect decorum by focusing only on the expression of grievances and never derailing towards the tendency to destroy. We are simply demolishing our common patrimony and we may have to whistle for our dinner when night falls.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)