Ademola Babalola in Ibadan
The Oyo State Government monday gave conditions for the Chairman of Yinka Ayefele Nigeria Limited, Dr. Yinka Ayefele to rebuild his partially demolished Music House, saying the musician must complete the documentations required for construction of such edifice for radio station before embarking on repairs of the structure.
The state’s Director General, Physical Planning and Urban Development Control, Alhaji Waheed Gbadamosi, who gave the conditions, insisted that Ayefele flouted the state’s town planning regulations before establishing the radio station.
The government’s position came as Ayefele monday told journalists that all he laboured for in his over 20 years’ career was pulled down by the state government in few minutes.
In an emotion-laden voice, Ayefele noted that his wife who met the state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, 24 hours before the demolition, was subjected to series of psychological torture at the Government House, saying “she was on her knees for about five hours from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. begging the governor for leniency”. “We have relocated our studio and Fresh FM is fully back on air. It is only the NBC (National Broadcasting Commission) that can stop us from broadcasting. They can only try but they can’t succeed. I have provided employment opportunities for the people of Ibadan and Nigerians. Fresh FM is a small business that should be encouraged, not destroyed.
“Fresh FM impacted the city and state’s economy. Families depend in Fresh FM for their daily existence. There is no defense for this vindictive and politically motivated destruction of a thriving business in a city that needs economic and job opportunities,” Ayefele explained.
But the government maintained that Ayefele must complete the documentation required for construction of such edifice for radio station before embarking on repairs of the partially demolished Music House.
Gbadamosi who made the state government’s position known at a press conference in Ibadan, insisted that the demolition, which was carried out by the state government, followed due process.
According to him, the demolition was done to correct the abnormality in constructing the structure, which was not meant for business premises.
Gbadamosi explained that a letter was written to many organisations and individuals, including Ayefele to inform them about the urban renewal plan of the state government but there was no reply to that effect.
Gbadamosi said Ayefele failed to regularise the structural planning documentation for the building, adding that due process followed the demolition of the building.
“On June 14, 2017, request for approval was sent to Music House and 22 other radio stations in Oyo State. On August 18, 2017 reminder letter was sent to Music House and the letter was received by Adebisi Akinkunmi. The action of the state government is not to witch-hunt anyone as we even reported the radio stations to National Broadcasting Commission.
“We also wrote to the Central Bank of Nigeria on some banks contravening the Oyo State Physical Planning and Development Control laws – Sections 30, 31 and 32 of the Oyo State Physical Planning and Urban Development Law of 2012. Music House submitted a building plan on June 14, 2018, which necessitated the joint inspection visit we carried out on June 25, 2018. It was discovered that it was meant to be an office complex and not a radio station, among some other infractions.”
He added that the building blocked residents of an estate behind it from having a clear view of the main road, stressing that the demolition was as a result of non-compliance to the letters written to the radio station. Gbadamosi also cautioned that unless the directive was carried out by Ayefele, reconstruction of the demolished part of the building would not be allowed.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Information in the state, Toye Arulogun told reporters that the government did not have any problem with the radio station (fresh FM) but with the Music House.