The common feeling among the generality of Lagos Television (LTV) staff, the flagship media organ of Lagos State as at present; is that the state governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has less than desirable interest in the station.
According to investigation, LTV lacks many things vital to its smooth running and firm standing to enable it rub shoulders with competitors. And top on the list of things the station lacks, it is said; is good and purposeful leadership. The staff are however worried that it seems Mr Governor doesn’t see the state’s media organs, particularly LTV as part of his vision for A Greater Lagos.
Therefore, those who according to sources; can no longer stomach what the workforce tag ‘executive bullshit’ in close-circuit discussions have left one after the other; even as many more are merely bidding time.
The sources added that some of the best hands that have left include Oba Adeoye, former Director, Programmes who left in December 2020; Tunde Ogundare, former Director, Marketing who left in February 2021 and Jubril Folami, former Senior News Editor, Lagos Bureau who left in March 2021.
It is alleged that since almost two years that the governor has assumed office, he has not officially visited LTV, let alone take a tour of its facilities, not to talk of appear on any of its interview programmes, unlike his predecessors.
Meanwhile, Mr Governor, it is said; has featured on different private TV stations including TVC and Arise TV. Even during the sad incident of the #EndSARS protests which shook Lagos to her roots; Sanwo-Olu did not deem it fit to patronize LTV, whereas he was a regular feature on certain private stations, sources said.
As a result, a section of the staff alleged, the governor has no first-hand knowledge of how bad things are for the TV house, even as the leadership is continually running it aground; thereby making the hitherto darling TV channel and pride of Lagosians subsist only on past glory at the moment; a source added.
It will be recalled that sometimes in 2020, this platform did a couple of stories on the running battle between the General Manager, Lagos Television; Miss Siju Alabi accused of high handedness cum draconian leadership style; and the two unions of LTV workers – NUJ and RATTAWU.
Down the memory lane, Miss Alabi was brought to LTV from the private sector in 2017 and installed as Director of News; a level-16 officer by the erstwhile governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode.
However, the then general manager, Deji Balogun, popularly called DB was said to be desperately seeking the favour of the commissioner for information and strategy, Steve Ayorinde who some say is Siju Alabi’s godfather and who was believed to be very influential over Ambode.
In a bid to appease the commissioner, DB; it was said switched Siju’s office to Director, News; which by LTV tradition is next in line in the chain of command; thereby displacing Oba Adeoye who was headhunted from TVC by Ambode himself to be in charge of news.
The said action perhaps became DB’s albatross as he was summarily redeployed from his exalted office at LTV where he had an official driver, secretary, personal and executive assistants to the Ministry of Information, Alausa as Director, Social Media where he had only a desk and shared office with others.
Replacing Deji Balogun was Funke Moore, otherwise called FM, a Lagos Television veteran who was already GM, Radio Lagos/Eko FM while DB held sway at TV. However, as if on a mission; no sooner than Moore assumed office did Siju Alabi, then Director, News and next in hierarchy start a battle with her; said a source.
And with no clear idea of what really transpired, Mrs. Moore also suffered the fate of DB in no time as she was unceremoniously moved to Alausa; contrary to her dream of retiring at LTV with pomp and pageantry, the source concluded.
Meanwhile Deji Balogun was said to have retired from civil service three months ahead of due date, out of frustration; according to a source.
However, Investigation reveals that Miss Siju Alabi was smuggled in by the duo of Steve Ayorinde and Fola Adéyemí, erstwhile Permanent Secretary because her post was never advertised and she was never interviewed.
She was to be part of the interview panel and not as a candidate.
At this point, our investigation exonerated the former Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode whom we gathered that he is not in the know of Siju Alabi’s capability.
Its worthy of mentioning that Siju Alabi is not a Production personnel as she is so weak in the understanding of the workings of a TV backend.
She was just a news reader, whose only staypower was her face and spoken English.
As at the time of filing this investigative report, the terrestrial channel of Lagos Television as been off-Air for the past one-week due to lack of diesel.
Miss Alabi has singlehandedly smuggled in so many staff into LTV without due process or management approval, investigation reveals.
We gathered, that has always been done in connivance with the Director of Human Resources and Admin, Mrs. Toyin Ayanbadejo.
To prove this malicious smuggling, One of the last one she did was admitting Mrs Ayanbadejo”s son without any express knowledge or approval of the management.
LTV management is now a great one-man show for Ms Alabi as she independently takes decisions while the management meetings became an announcement assembly where she only comes to announce the decision she has taken
The likes of Oba Adeoye and Tunde Ogundare were seen as rebels for confronting her occasionally over mismanagement and wrong approach to TV day-to-day running.
She jumped over them to deal with subordinates under them without their knowledge, as a means of avoiding the duo before they eventually resigned.
During our investigation, we also gathered that the management team knows nothing about the revenue inflow and otherwise that all the decisions are solely taken
The prove on this is the construction of the studio which ordinarily should be the call of the director of programmes but rather, Siju Alabi in suspected connivance with the Director Production Services, Toyin Adegoke contacted the artisans, paid from the station coffers and decided on set designs without any input of the programmes or news department, -the two main end users of the facility.
This is against modern TV management practice.
This is part of the many reasons that encouraged the gifted and versatile Tunde Ogundare and Oba Adeoye to leave, among other issues.
As you read this report, many more good hands are warming up for their exit. They’re both from the senior (including management team) and junior cadres of the station.
A management staff said under anonymity, “I’m only waiting for a cleared coast. I’ve had my letter drafted and saved already. “The moment Oba Adeoye left, I knew there was a problem. He was part of those we looked up to, as future of the station, as he was the next in line as the General Manager”.
“His action has triggered many people bro start thinking of leaving LTV as soon they have the chance.
“Anytime from now, I’ll also pull out. I can’t keep wasting my efforts where it is not appreciated or allowed to fester
However, with Mr Akunwunmi Ambode out of office, not a few expected a breath of fresh air at LTV but as it is, it appears Sanwo-Olu is rather too busy, overwhelmed or not interested in the station altogether.
As things now stand at any rate, those in the know are afraid Mr Governor may not take any concrete step still, to rescue the sinking ship of LTV before it is too late; given his body language all along which some believe is largely influenced by his CPS; Gboyega Akosile – a long standing ally of Miss Alabi.
However, the concerned staff are worried that it will be a very big embarrassment for the entirety of Lagos State Government and the person of Mr Governor himself, if LTV; the pride of all Lagosians and one of the legacies of Lateef Kayode Jakande should collapse on his watch.
Siju Alabi, who was a popular newscaster back in the days on Channels Television and Silverbird TV in Lagos at various times; is perhaps Akosile’s former colleague in the days he plied his journalistic trade across Mitv and Silverbird also in Lagos.
It will also interest the general public to know, during our investigation that pension arrears is still pending for 45 months now, also hundreds of retirees are still in limbo, to revive the station the governor needs to intervene.
However, based on the information gathered, Lagos Television should be placed under the governor’s Office just like OGTV for proper monitoring, accountability and staffs welfarism.