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An Ugly Wednesday & The Invasion Of Hoodlums Into The Premises Of OSBC, An Account By Moshood Suleiman

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Moshood Suleiman

It started as a mere protest. The usual one. At the centre of it all were the Nigerian youths under the umbrella of #Endsars Protesters. Their original mission was to drum the need for an effective police reform in the country; Nigeria. And their mission and vision in the first instance was for the outright disbandment of the notorious FSARS a special unit of the Nigerian police specifically put in place to fight all kinds of crime especially cyber crimes among others in Nigeria.

All was well,so to say,with the protests by the youths at the beginning until at a point it got hijacked by those now being popularly refered to as hoodlums, which of course they eventually turned out to be.

They went wild in their actions and utterances. They went gaga . They took laws into their hands. An anarchical acts and tendencies became lucidly driven and pronounced with the way they went about their ungentlemanly conducts and affairs . They embraced and romanced violence like a newly wedded bride. Commotion readily set in.

Public and private property became the target of attacks and lootings by these law breakers whose identity is still shrouded in mystery. Virtually anywhere they could visit to cart away ,consumables and non consumables was not spared.

In the course of carrying out all these unkindest acts of looting and vandalising warehouses & other places where items of values estimated at several millions ,if not even billions of naira were kept, innocent staff of osbc,a state owned media house,expectedly were at their duty posts working and ‘feeding’ their immediate and larger public with happenings,locally nationally and internationally in their usual news contents and programmings .

Things were going on smoothly and perfectly for both the news and non news staff of the organisation who were on duty on that ugly Wednesday morning . No one ever had an inkling or faint impression of what was eventually going to happen that would thwart the existing peace in our station .

In a gang like posture,the unwanted visitors at an unwanted time doing unwanted acts came visiting OSBC !
The peace being enjoyed before their arrival instantly went kaput!

Wailing and lamentation rent the air with the news that the hoodlums have surrounded the entire large expanse of land housing the station .

Osbc ?
Surrounded by hoodlums ?
For what ?
And why ?
Questions and questions of these kinds were begging for urgent answers but none came .

In the wake of all these nagging questions and others that followed, no one could could ever wait to dare the gun wielding, stick brandishing and cudgel carrying hoodlums masquerading as ENDSARS protesters regarding what the offences of osbc were to have warranted being listed as prey among many other preys listed by the “guests”.

On arrival ,
they first made a borne fire of about four to five used tyres they brought along while on their expedition to conquer osbc.

This was followed by the setting the two electronically powered bill boards of the station also on fire.

They were clinically fastidious and systematic in their planning and execution of the destructive activities on *the* *regional voice of the* *west* as the station is otherwise called.

Honestly speaking ,It was like watching an epic battle in the now rested popular Yoruba movie ” *Arelu* “when the fierce looking and heavily armed hoodlums gained entrance into osbc .

As if on a final production of a well written and rehearsed script ,the vandals cum hoodlums went about smashing anything smashable inside osbc complex. Official cars parked at the parking lot were not spared. They had their windscreens shattered by the hoodlums who torpedoed majestically into the complex in a commando like form . They exuded full confidence . The walk unaided and unguided to give the impression that they needed no one to to give them a guided tour of our facilities .

It was to the fear and chagrin of everybody,staff and non staff alike who were on ground on that ugly day and time.

Everyone was caught off guard . It was a day of fear. Tension was the word. Apprehension was the language. It was not the normal tales told in the moonlight . It wasn’t a fiction. Reality it was. Yes,it was real and surreal . Who dared described it to be the contrary ? The ugliest experience ever had by the staff in the almost 3 decade old existence of the the station it was. This is not overflogging the negative worth of the day and the invasion. If you have that thought,please bury it . Expunge it from the mental picture of that ugly Wednesday morning .

Though it was later laughed off when the staff later resurfaced from their hiding places,it was traumatic as staff and non staff took to their heels in a relay race for safety.

It was a day of equality . There was neither a senior or junior staff. Safety was the only language on everyone’s mind. Everyone for himself and God for us all was the motto of everyone. If you call it
the popular *O.Y.O,* ”
On Your Own ” ! You are correct.

People ran Helter skelter with all the speeds at their imaginable and unimaginable disposal to escate being beaten blue black by the “commando like invaders”.

Having taken “control”of the main gate and of course the affairs of virtually everything in the station , their next line of action was to embark on attacking the multi million Naira facilities of both the radio and television arms of the station. The two main studios ,which unarguably are the LIVE WIRES of the organisation couldn’t have been spared the pangs of these destructive elements ! Imagine what the losses could have been . Very ,very enormous .

But to God be the glory . He was as usual faithful to us individually as as staff and collectively as an establishment .

The God of Wonders indeed shielded us and rescued our multi million Naira facilities that would have gone the way of the invaders,looters, Marauders and arsonists whose stock in trade on that ugly Wednesday was to bring osbc to its knees.

Alas ! In total control of the day and the situation was our God in His Majesty . It could have been another story entirely .

While the Muslims were praising Allah to high heaven by rendering Allahu Akbar ! Allahu Akbar repeatedly, their Christian counterparts were adoring God with the rendition of Halleluyah ! Halleluyah !!

How did we survive the antics of the Invaders ? What was the magic and the selling point ?

I am sure by now you may want to assuage your curiosity in unravelling the mystery that eventually came the way of osbc during that trying time .

A fierce disagreement all of a sudden ensued between the hoodlums. While all of them were resolute that osbc should be attacked ,one of them suddenly had a contrary view. He developed a soft spot for osbc. He held a contrary impression on the attacking mission as hatched by his colleagues.

In fact the arrow head of the suggestion thst saved osbc from the attack was said to be a barely twenty year boy among the hoodlums. He did the unthinkable to have moved a motion that eventually halted the total invasion. He made a subtle appeal on the “Goons” to temper justice with mercy .

No ! No !! And No !!! The already charged and determined hoodlums seem to be saying. They were charging to the rooftops . They felt insulted . They felt short changed . The appeal was coming at a wrong time. How could such a mere ant of a boy among them had the gut and temerity to change the course of action that has been signed,sealed but just waiting to be dlivered . He was trying to prove to be a good boy ?

This action and behavior at this small fry at the last hour must and should not be allowed to rear its seeming ugly head out. It must be curtailed because it would amount to deep cut, a stab of monumental degree coming at an unexpected time from an unexpected manner .

He must pay dearly for this prank of an appeal. Pronto, they declared him a persona non grata among them. He became a villain. They loathed him. They hated him. They abused and rebuked him. They branded him a big sell out . They cast aspersion on him. He betrayed. He has therefore become a betrayer on their collective mission to invade and bulldoze our osbc. Their osbc. Everybody’s osbc,one of the prides and beautiful heritages of the state of Omoluabi & Nigeria as a whole .

The betrayed felt wounded by the betrayer. Therefore he must not be spared. He must be punished accordingly. A sinner he was and accordingly he must be made to account for the “sin”

With loaded anger and tempest, hey rounded him up the way ants would swoop on a cube of sugar . With all the strength at their immediate disposal they reigned punches of different sizes and proportions on the “good boy”.

They beat him blue black mercilessly right inside the osbc complex with the instrument of destruction at their disposals; clubs,sticks and cudgels which could have been unleashed on any member of staff of osbc if the last minute disagreement among them did not crop.

In the course of the disagreement ,security personnel arrived to wade them off.

On a sad note akin to the loss of a dear one, information that filtered in two days after the serious beatings alleged that the boy gave up the ghost premised allegedly again on the wounds and torture tortures unleashed on him by the senior hoodlums .

May the soul of the departed boy,though a hoodlum, who saved Osbc from being brazenly attacked rest in peace.
We owe the good story of our existence again as a media house today to his heroism after the ugly Wednesday incident

This is because It was in the course of the disagreement between him and other hoodlums that a reinforcement of the contingent of armed security personnel arrived our station &
the hoodlums got repelled . They fled. Reprieve and succour came back. Peace returned.

With adequate security put in place, normalcy returned to osbc. Majority of the staff who had to jump the fence for safety could not come back to their duty posts again. It was that scary an incident which the staff and management of the Corporation will always live to remember and equally tell a good story of.

God was indeed merciful for His intervention using the late young “hero” who caused a temporary lull in their attacking mission which ,unarguably, turned yout to be a GREAT BLESSING FOR OSBC .

To forestall a repeat of such bad experience particularly in fortifying , the entire station had to be put on hold of its usual daily activities for about 5 days. We went off the airwaves beginning from Wednesday last week until Monday ( this week).

Unarguably, the regional voice of the West , both the radio and television arms of osbc is ever poised to render the usual priceless services of informing educating ,entertaining and enlightening members of the public.

The Director General Mrs Adejumoke Akinjiola reaffied this position while congratulating and welcoming the staff back to their duty posts after 5 days of going on “sabbatical ” . She ,as a matter of fact ,emphasised that osbc will never allow the ugly experience of last Wednesday be a clog in the wheel of of progress while carrying out its day to day corporate social responsibility to the public.

The station ,no doubt, is imbued with the zeal and professional acumen to come out stronger and better in a way that it will live up to its popular dictum of being the regional voice of the south.
Like an Eagle , we are proudly back on air to soar higher and higher to greater glory !

To God be the glory.
To the boy who paid the supreme price so that osbc may live as it escapes what would have been the violence, looting and possibly arson that may have taken place , may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.
May God give the other hoodlums the courage as it were like the late boy to have a change of heart for good to dissuade them from being lawless anymore .

The boy ,no doubt was a hero.
Adieu.

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