NBS Television has come under pressure to release footage of the off-air events that happened when NRM spokesperson Ofwono Opondo stood up and charged at Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago during it’s NBS Frontline political talk show on Thursday night.
Before the show went off air, Opondo tried to silence Lukwago.
Opondo said: “You can shout and I can push you out of here”
From Lukwago’s claims and grumbling voices that were heard after the cameras were shut off, it has left some to suspect that the fight intensified.
Although the station acknowledged in a brief statement published on their Twitter account that the debate went out of hand, and ended prematurely, everyone left the station safely.
NBS said: “The debate, unfortunately, went out of hand on #NBSFrontline this evening, leading to its premature end.
“Thankfully, our Production team’s quick action relatively minimized the impact on and off air. All our guests safely left the Park. Apologies for all inconvenience.”
Despite admission of some failure, pressure is mounting on the station to account to it’s viewers and the public to show what exactly happened, especially after it was claimed that Lukwago was attacked.
Elias Mukiibi, a former Daily Monitor editor and founder of Mainstream Media Uganda also called upon NBS to release footage of the events arguing that the station has an obligation to the public to hold officials to account.
“Lukwago has alleged that he was assaulted by Opondo in the studios of NBS when the programme was put off air,” Mukiibi said adding that: “NBS should come under pressure to release the footage of what transpired off air, at least to Lukwago so he can pursue justice. And since OO is a public figure, the footage should be made available to all of us for full accountability.”
FDC leader Dr. Kizza Besigye claimed shortly after the show that: “Lord Mayor Hajj Erias Lukwago has been badly assaulted by Mr Ofwono Opondo, the NRM Junta Spokesperson, during a live NBS Tv FRONTLINE program. He is still holed up at the NBS media house offices, while Opondo continues to threaten further attack on him!”
Lukwago complained in a post on Twitter although he was less specific on what exactly happened.
He said: “Short of words to explain what has happened to me at the NBS TV Frontline. Horrible, despicable!!. Fellow Ugandans, it’s Horrible. My only prayer is that I get out of this place safely!”
One Nuwahereza Allan asked NBS to release footage of the post-show events.
“I think we should have a full clip of whatever happened thereafter.
“The world needs to know that @nbstv is unable to keep the security of its guests.”
Others demanded that NBS suspend Opondo from the show for some time.
One Jonathan Kato said: “But @nbstv honestly, is it in order for someone to keep shouting when another panellist is submitting!!!! And its not the first time…therefore, you will leave no option but for those unruly individuals to be punished..#check ur moderating ..”