It was one of the biggest national calamity that year, the burning of NETCOM HOUSE (later to be called NITEL–Nigeria Telecommunications Limited) on Friday February 25th, 1983, it was such a ravaging sight to behold as both local and national observers watched the 32 storey-building Netcom house went up in flames.
To add salt to the national injury, the President and Commander In Chief of the Armed Forces, President Shehu Utman Shagari was on his way to India, and despite the national embarrassment the inferno gave Nigeria before comity of nations, the President still continued his trip after inspecting the Lagos based building in the afternoon.
Thirty six years after that historic national incident, one of the actors who witnessed the national calamity at a very close range, Chief Ezekiel Olasunmoye Fatoye, a Director at NITEL opened up to Asabe Afrika TV, detailing how the entire episode started and how the Nigerian Government reacted to the national embarrassment.
In 1984, when the then General Muhammadu Buhari and his partner Tunde Idiagbon sacked President Shehu Shagari from power, some of the Directors were jailed over what appears to be frivolous trump up charges, it was Chief Ezekiel Olasunmoye Fatoye that came to the rescue.
Some twelve years later, new Nigeria’s leader, General Sani Abacha closed down NITEL over some unfounded excuses.
Till date, that national behemoth has remained a stigma to the psyche of many Nigerians.
Chief Fatoye, in a rare fashion and sense of nationhood revealed the bit by bit details of how the black Friday happened and how he and his team handled the challenge.
Take a seat and get your favorite snack and drink as you enjoy the revelation.
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