Bulldozers of the Oyo State Government roared into life at the Lagos-Ibadan bypass in the Challenge Area of Ibadan this morning, Sunday, 19th August, 2018, leaving Music House a property of popular gospel music artiste, Yinka Ayefele, in ruins. The property houses Fresh FM, a radio station belonging to the musician.
There had been apprehension over whether or not the structure would go. While the government issued notice, Ayefele made a beeline for the court, praying that the threat should not be carried out.
The government had earlier issued a three-day notice for the demolition of the building stating that the property owner had allegedly ignored its request to prove that the property got necessary approvals and did not contravene extant building laws.
According to a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun, the demolition notice to Music House/Fresh FM 105.9 Ibadan was “not based on sentiment or witch-hunting,” adding that “contravention notices were served to different organisations since June 13, last year, including all radio stations in the state.”
Arulogun added that the Music House owner ignored his request for an application for a new building plan “having established through an inspection that the building violated its original plan without seeking physical planning approval from the state Bureau of Physical Planning and Development Control.”
Arologun added that several companies and institutions, such as the University of Ibadan, Kola Daisi University, University College Hospital, UCH, Banks and “radio stations were similarly asked to provide their approved plans.”
However, Ayefele, in a recent statement he personally signed, declared: “We want to make it clear that Music House followed due process in the construction of the building and got relevant approvals from state departments and agencies associated with lands and buildings.
“Saying that Music House Complex is responsible for three accidents that occurred on the road in the last nine months is just an attempt by the Commissioner to run away from his shadow. How can a reasonable person say that?
“It is not news that the Governor of the state himself said some politicians came to him to demolish the Music House Complex because Ayefele is not in their camp and he also sang against them. We have the Governor on tape, so the Commissioner should look for another excuse.
“We know it is the Commissioner that is misinforming the Governor who we hold in a very high esteem. The Commissioner has tried in the past to influence a change in our programmes saying some of our analysts should be replaced.
“We want the general public to know that Music House has not in any way contravened any building plan law as the Commissioner has mischievously said.
“Music House has been in existence for almost 10 years and we have all necessary documents backing the building from relevant government agencies.
“Why did the government approve the building plan when they know it will contravene the state housing law?
“The Commissioner should tell us why the state is just realising that the Music House building is the cause of accident along this road. Perhaps it is also responsible for accidents on Ring road and other parts of the state.
“If we actually contravened the building law, why did the Commissioner always send us press release for use on behalf of the government.
“The Commissioner has featured on different programmes on our station and has commended us for our professionalism; same with the Governor who heaped praises on us when he visited the station on October 6, 2016. The Commissioner should look for another excuse and stop chasing shadows”.