Oyo commissioner speaks on demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s building

Pic.6. Demolished Yinka Ayefele’s Fresh FM building by Oyo State Government, onLagos By-pass, Challenge,Felele Road,in Ibadan on Sunday (19/8/18). 04486/19/8/2018/Timothy Adeogodiran/JMH/NAN
Demolished Yinka Ayefele's Fresh FM building by Oyo State Government, onLagos By-pass, Challenge,Felele Road,in Ibadan on Sunday (19/8/18). 04486/19/8/2018/Timothy Adeogodiran/JMH/NAN

The Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Toyin Arulogun, has spoken on the demolition of Music House, a building owned by popular musician, Yinka Ayefele.

The building also housed Mr Ayefele’s radio station, Fresh FM. It was controversially demolished by the state government on Sunday.

Mr Arulogun told PREMIUM TIMES that contrary to the allegation by the musician, he was not responsible for the demolition.

He said the action was taken by the state government and town planning authorities in the state.

“The question is, can I influence the decision of the executive, that of government agencies and that of the state government as a whole?” he said in a telephone interview.

He then added that the state government would formally address journalists on its stance on the demolition on Monday.

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Earlier, Mr Ayefele pleaded with his fans to keep calm and not resort to violence.

Mr Ayefele spoke on Sunday evening on a programme on the radio station, which commenced online transmission after the demolition.

“Don’t cause trouble. Don’t even touch the caterpillar parked in front of the music house. I beg of you all. The government has done what they deemed fit.”

“Fresh FM continues despite the demolition. So far we don’t do anything against the government laws and we’ve not breached the broadcast regulations. Let God judge.”

“If something pains one and you can’t fight, you leave everything to God. Our programmes will surely continue. Thanks to the digital age,” he said.

With a tone of sarcasm, he appreciated the Oyo government for the demolition. He described the demolition as an open door to a new dawn. It was then he made his veiled allegation against the information commissioner.

“My special appreciation goes to Toyin Arulogun, the state Commissioner for information. He was the one who started the case and the one who finished it,” the musician said.

The musician also appreciated the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for sending one of its representatives to witness the demolition. He also commended the workers of the demolished radio station for their resilience.

The location of the demolished building has generated controversies in recent weeks, with the Oyo State Government saying it contravenes urban and physical planning laws of the state.

The government said the building violated the originally approved building plan because it is “structurally defective (and) poses danger or constitutes a nuisance to the occupier or the general public.”

Perhaps, sensing the government was planning to demolish his building, Mr Ayefele last week approached a court to seek an order barring the state government from demolishing the building. Although the court did not grant the order, it adjourned the suit to this new week.

The demolition has been condemned by the Nigerian Bar Association, the Nigeria Union of Journalists, and many other Nigerians and groups.

“Even if there is no express order of court restraining the government, the fact that parties are already in court over the matter is a sufficient reason why the government must stay action,” the NBA said.

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