2019 ELECTION CASUALTY: Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s Fight With APC’s Governorship Candidate, Ayogu Eze Claims Television Continental, TVC’s State Correspondents Job, As “Carl Ofonye” Resigns, Accuses TVC Of Going Against MBC Regulations.

Ugwuanyi, Ayogu, Carl Ofonye & TVC's Logo.

The politics of who becomes Governor of Enugu State between the incumbent, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Senator Ayogu Eze after the March 9th Governorship election in Nigeria during the week took its first noticeable casualty as a Staff of Television Continental, TVC, one of the flashship News platforms in Nigeria and with Headquarters in Lagos has resigned over circumstances traceable to both the Governor and his strongest rival, the APC’s candidate.


Mr. Callistus Ofonye, popularly called, Carl Ofonye, was until Monday, the 25th of February, 2019, the Enugu State Correspondent of TVC and for reasons put forth through his well detailed letter of resignation, you will discover what led to his decision to drop the job for its owners and move on with his life.

One thing was rather shocking to us here and that is, why the fight between a state governor and his rival would be allowed to affect the job of a Journalist, especially when such staff is put in charge of a state office as her correspondent.

We are not allowed to add or subtract, but to present the matter the best way we can.

Bellow therefore are detailed information on the resignation of Carl Ofonye, hoping to hear from TVC, the angle of their own story.

HIS RESIGNATION LETTER:
From: Carl Ofonye <carlofonye@gmail.com
Sent: Monday, February 25, 2019 3:58 PM
Subject: LETTER OF RESIGNATION.

 February 25, 2019.

The Human Resources,
TVC Communications
1. Continental Way,
Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos.

Sir,

LETTER OF RESIGNATION.

I wish to use this medium to thank the entire management and staff of TVC Communications for the opportunity given me to work in the organization for seven years and eight months cumulatively. It was a wonderful experience with lots fun memories that I cannot forget in my entire life. However, like the popular saying that anything that has a beginning must have an end, I think my end in the organization has finally come. I hereby tender my resignation with immediate effect - today February 25, 2019. My decision to do this is predicted on the following reasons:

1. I have found out that the working environment in TVC Communications under the current management of news department is no longer friendly as it used to be. A number of staff, including my humble self from personal experience and investigations now work under constant threat and intimidation. This is not the ideal working environment I dream of or desire to subject myself to any further. I love friendly working environment and managers who communicate, advise, counsel, give listening ears, correct and even chastise or punish me when necessary with love and understanding, not the managers who intimidate or threaten me  every now and then with sack, fire and brimstone. A manager that has listening ears always secure my confidence, loyalty, commitment and best of me. The one that threatens and intimidates me puts me off. And I don't know how to pretend about this.

2. I have also found out that management of TVC Communications as it's presently constituted in the news department does not allow room for staff in my category to use their discretion even if such discretionary decisions are in the overall interest of the organization. A good example was the incident of Saturday in Enugu involving Senator Ayogu Eze, his Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and myself during the Presidential and National Assembly Elections. I found myself in a very tight corner that required a great deal of discretion and wisdom to come out from in order to save our contract with Enugu State government and at the same time seems to be upholding the ethnical standard that our organization is craving for. When I applied such discretion in a way I was convinced is in the best interest of the organization considering the situation on ground, what I got was blackmail, abuse, rebook, humiliation and outright threat of sack without being given the opportunity to make any explanation. This is despite the fact that the management staff involved in this was aware that TVC has special coverage contract with Enugu State governor which binds us to project him positively. I may be wrong to say, including doing the governor's bidding. But I dare say that he who pays the piper, as the ancient saying goes, has right to also dictate the tone. Any person crucifying me or calling for my head for not upholding the fairness doctrine 100% on news involving the governor I am assigned to and his political opponent amounts to eating his cake and still wants to have it.

But sadly, this is the position I now found myself. I became a victim of circumstance orchestrated by unfortunate power play and deception that have become the hallmark of TVC news room in the last two or three months.

I say this because I know that if we truly want to exhibit the highest ethical standard in broadcasting news, we shouldn't have entered into partnership arrangement with any state government, including Enugu state.

I am in Enugu in the first place today because there is a contract. If the governor cancels the contract because I refused to delete what he wanted me to delete, I am 100% sure that TVC is not going to post me to any other state it does not have contract with to be drawing salary monthly without generating income. I am a living witness to what happened to 145 staff of TVC in June 2nd 2017. Performing reporters with untainted records, including my humble self covering states and governors not paying TVC then were retrenched in one fell swoop. Only very few of us have been recalled following the signing of dedicated coverage deals with some state governors. Again, should we be talking and insisting on high and unbending ethical standard when in the first place TVC has willingly and knowingly contravened NBC relevant codes that should be our guiding principle? I know that proposing and indeed signing an agreement to be covering the activities of a governor for a fee is unethical and against NBC Code. This is because NBC knows that the moment you do that, your hands are technically tied to your legs to do the bidding of your paymaster. There is no News Manager in today's Nigeria that does not know this. 

3. I have equally found out that TVC is not employees' welfare driven or caring organization. TVC posted me and a camera man, Kelvin Ogechi to Enugu to service a contract that it collected millions of Naira without giving us a kobo to sustain ourselves for a day or paying for accommodation for a night. We were also dispatched without a microphone stand, cable, lighting system and an internet device to file reports. How these working tools were provided is not TVC's business till date as long as reports are coming from Enugu.

Enugu is a city I don't have accommodation or any relations in. I accepted to relocate to the city because I love TVC, the reporting job and also wanted to work for everyone who has confidence in me. I spent a great deal of my personal savings from other source of income feeding and paying hotel bills for myself and my camera man, Kelvin who was not my employee for some days before the young man bolted away. When my current cameraman was recruited, I also fed him and paid his hotel bills for some days before the governor finally came to our rescue by paying for our accommodation. He too is not my employee or my relation. But today, the reward I received for these sacrifices is blackmail, humiliation and outright threat of sack.

4. I have similarly found out that TVC  does not value its staff or reward those that make sacrifices for the survival and growth of the organization. It does not also recognize or reward excellence, loyalty, sincerity, and hard work. The worst is that the organization does not also have empathy for its staff. Instances abound to prove this. I can recall that less than three weeks after losing my immediate younger sister to brain hemorrhage that TVC cunningly  invited me to Lagos, asking me to come along with every equipment in my possession for assessment only to hand me retrenchment letter on arrival. This was despite the fact that I have not been issued any query or found wanting for dereliction of duties in the past. If I hadn't any other means of survival, such a sudden shock can trigger instant high blood pressure that can lead to brain hemorrhage that killed my dear sister just three weeks back then. If that had happened, I wonder how my immediate family would have absorbed the shock. When the current cameraman I am working with was employed in error because we were so much in a hurry to fill the vacuum created by Kelvin Ogechi's departure, I was crucified for playing a crucial role in his employment when it was discovered that he can't edit, and that he cannot also read or write. This is despite the fact that the organization knew that I hadn't any equipment with me to test him to confirm his competence and that I relied on the information I was furnished with by the person that recommended him to me. This was despite the fact too that people that interviewed him and took him through training process for a week in Lagos ignored these aspects of deficiencies.

5. I have found out too that TVC is not an equal opportunity employer. This practice is a morale killer and a recipe for decline in performance of good and talented staff. It also reduces self-esteem of staff. I think it is better for a good or above average performing worker to remain unemployed and be searching for a dream job than to subject himself to the unfortunate and humiliating second class citizen status the TVC Management created for certain category of staff. 

6. The last but not the least, after reviewing a memo to me by Asuquo James as shown in the paragraph hereunder and the phone call that the director news followed it with, it became clear to me that the only option open to me is to resign honourably.

THE MEMO SENT TO HIM:
 "Hi,
You have been summoned to Lagos for giving out the phone number of the Director of News without authorisation and misrepresenting issues concerning our editorial policy on election day.

Your meeting with the management team is at 12noon on Monday, 25th February, 2019.


Regards.

Asuquo James
Assignment Editor, TVC News
TVC Communications
1, Continental Way, Ikosi-Ketu,
Lagos, Nigeria.
Office: +234(0)708 066 8007, EXT: 107
+234 8023 888 059"

The reason is not far-fetched. I don't see the prospect of getting a listening ear in Lagos from someone who refused to entertain any explanation from me on the phone and also created bad impression about me before other management staff. Even God did not punish Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden without giving them fair hearing. I have been promised sack by the director news without bothering to know the circumstance under which I acted stupidly if in deed, I did.

All these factors combined with others too numerous to mention here, informed my decision to take a walk and give myself some level of peace.

My only regret is spending close to a million Naira hard earned money from another source to buy household things that I don't have a space now to park in my house at Asaba when I return to Delta State this week. If I knew that this my second missionary journey with TVC would be Short lived, I wouldn't have tampered with my business money to furnish the house the governor rented for me in Enugu knowing fully well that I won't have a place to park them when I return to Asaba.

Notwithstanding, I wish TVC and the entire staff of the organization well. It was a wonderful journey with lots of fun memories that cannot be wished away easily.

Yours Faithfully, 
Callistus Ofonye.
TVC Correspondent, Enugu State.