Oyo Govt, Fresh FM Disagree Over Music House Demolition
The Oyo State Government and the management of Fresh FM have disagreed over the demolition of the Music House owned by popular musician, Yinka Ayefele.
Both sides were represented by their officials on Wednesday in an interview on Sunrise Daily, a breakfast show on Channels Television.
The Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Toye Arulogun, explained that the structure was demolished because it was erected against the laws of the state.
He said, “Whether it’s a canteen there or whatever, that structure will still be wrong. It would still have contravened the law, so it doesn’t have anything to do with Fresh FM.”
Mr Arulogun also faulted reports that the government demolished the structure because it had issues with the radio station.
He argued that the matter was strictly official, stressing that the government had given the media outfit enough time to respond to the concerns it raised about building other structures beyond what it approved.
“There is a building contravention, there is a planning contravention, and the government gave you ample time since 2017 when this engagement started,” the commissioner said. “That land has been encroached upon.”
“The size of the land that was given to Music House is not what they are operating on. The building size measured 29.7m by 21.6m on the ground, as against 11.925m by 10.20m in the survey plan submitted by Music House. So, there is a contravention,” he disclosed.
But the Head of News, Fresh FM, Samson Akindele, believes the demolition was carried out because the radio station was performing its constitutional responsibility efficiently.
He alleged that while the exercise was ongoing, security operatives chased back fleeing staff of the radio station into the building, as they had to escape through an office.
The journalist said, “This is what we got from just being professional, from just having what the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) Code called ‘straight dealing’ – which has to do with honesty and integrity.”
Although there had been some interactions between both sides, Mr Akindele stressed that the time given to them by the government was short.
He added that the radio station had approached a court to stop the demolition as soon as it got the notice, but the government went ahead.
According to him, they got “A three-day demolition notice and that was to lapse on Wednesday (last week).”
“We were left with no choice than to begin to ask questions but before answers could be acquired, the demolition team came in the wee hours of Sunday and they did what they said they were coming to do.”
The demolition of Ayefele’s Music House in Ibadan has sparked a widespread criticism from individuals and groups, as well as human rights organisations such as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP).