The Oyo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Sunday condemned the demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s Music House which houses his Fresh FM 105.9 radio station.
A statement jointly signed by the council’s chairman, Adewunmi Faniran, and the Secretary, Bola Ogunlayi, said it was highly disturbed that the building was demolished when the matter was before a court of competent jurisdiction.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the building belonging to the popular musician was demolished early Sunday by the state government for allegedly contravening its town planning laws.
The NUJ expressed concern about the fate of the journalists and other media workers in the establishment as well as the loss suffered by the owner of the broadcast outfit.
“As the fourth estate of the realm and believer in the rule of law, the Oyo State NUJ expects that the court would have been left to take a definite decision on the issue of demolition before it was carried out,” it said.
The council called on the state government to ensure that “ it comes to the aid of Fresh FM which has been a pride of Ibadan in particular and Oyo State.’’
It urged the government to relocate the station to another site and ensure the smooth take-off of its operations.
The location of the building has generated controversies in recent weeks, with the Oyo State Government alleging that 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”.
Toye Arulogun, Oyo State Commissioner for Information, said the state government had also received petitions detailing about three accidents that took place around the building.
The government had served the management of the building a notice of demolition which expired August 15, but Mr Ayefele was reported to have headed to the court, alleging victimization.
Reacting to the demolition exercise Sunday morning, Mr Ayefele took to his verified Facebook page to lament the incident. The musician, who arrived the scene of the demolition shortly after the exercise began, wrote: “Oyo state government did at last……my pains my sweat ….So help me God.”
The Oyo State Government is yet to comment on the incident as at press time Sunday morning.