Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
The Oyo State Government, on Wednesday, explained that its decision to demolish the Music House at Lagos Bypass, Challenge, Ibadan, which houses Fresh FM 105.9 established by the popular gospel musician, Evangelist Yinka Ayefele, was not based on sentiments.
Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism in the state, Mr. Toye Arulogun, told Daily Sun that the decision to demolish the structure was based on contravention of planning laws, adding that the radio station was not the only one affected by the statewide exercise, as many structures that contravened the planning laws were also served with notices of demolition.
The demolition notice posted on the Music House on the orders of the Oyo State Government on Monday, this week, gave the owners of the building three days to vacate the building and remove the structure or risk its removal by the government. However, the ultimatum elapsed on Wednesday, but it has not been demolished.
Arulogun stated that Fresh FM could attempt to whip up sentiments, but four facts, according to him, were basic, saying the exercise was a statewide one, and not targeted at Fresh FM.
He said an office complex was approved for Ayefele, but it was turned to a radio station, and that there have been several correspondences from government to the owners of the structure to regularise the building with appropriate organs of government, which the radio station has purportedly refused to comply with.
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He also dismissed the speculations that the government wanted to demolish the Music House based on the allegation made on a programme of Fresh FM that Governor Abiola Ajimobi owns a share in the Ibadan Central Abbatoir at Amosun Village, Akinyele Local Government Area, which all butchers in Ibadan were asked to relocate to by the government a few weeks ago.
Arulogun explained that the University of Ibadan, University College Hospital (UCH), Kola Daisi University, and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) extension of several banks have been affected in the exercise.
“The Music House building contravenes planning laws which they are not controverting. From their statement, which acknowledged that the matter has been on for over a year, it is evident that it bears no correlation with the falsehood on the governor’s ownership of shares in the Central abattoir for which he has briefed his lawyers. Music House has occasioned three fatal accidents in the last nine months on which government has received petitions,” he said.
However, the Director of Corporate Affairs and Promotions of Fresh FM, David Ajiboye, on Tuesday evening wrote on his Facebook wall that the demolition notice was issued because “the staff canteen in the premises was not approved. The spiral staircase was not in the approved plan. The mast was not in the approved plan. The fence was not in the approved plan.
“Therefore, the entire N800 million edifice, where almost 150 people make their daily living, will be demolished. You are all invited to the demolition show at the Music House tomorrow.
A similar notice was issued years ago (October 2012) but the matter was resolved between the agents of government and the owners of the structure.