The management of The Nation Newspaper has said that the destruction of its headquarters in Lagos on Wednesday was an unwarranted attack on free press in the country.
Adeniyi Adesina, editor of the newspaper, in a statement on Wednesday, said the attackers arrived at the premises in a coordinated fashion and set fire to the place, leaving workers trapped inside.
He said, “Armed men on motorcycles invaded the headquarters of The Nation on Fatai Atere Way, Matori, Lagos, on Wednesday afternoon. In a commando-like manner, they kicked their way into the premises after scaring away security men on duty, brandishing their sophisticated guns.
“They poured petrol on the frontage of the building and set fire to it. Some of the vehicles parked within the premises were set ablaze, others vandalised. Many boys came thereafter and swooped on the office, looting everything they could lay their hands on.
“These include desktop computers, laptops, air conditioners and other office equipment. At the time of the attack, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief, Mr Victor Ifijeh, was among those trapped within the office while the fire raged on.
“They were evacuated when men of Operation Mesa security outfit arrived. Their arrival ended the free rein of the invaders. It was obviously a targeted attack on the free press. The Nation had been listed on Twitter and other social media platforms by sympathisers of the ongoing destructive activities as a target of attack.”
Apart from The Nation Newspapers, angry Nigerians also attacked and burnt Television Continental, another media establishment believed to be owned by a former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who many people suspect to have had a hand in the deployment of soldiers to the Lekki Toll Gate area on Tuesday where peaceful protesters were killed in large numbers.