Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan.
Following the heated controversy and consequent condemnation of the Oyo State Government led by Governor Abiola Ajimobi over the early Sunday morning demolition of an Ibadan-based radio station, Fresh FM, own by Yinka Ayefele, the Leader of One Love Family, Satguru Maharaji, on Sunday, urged the people of the state not to demonise the governor and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the matter.
Maharaji, a prince of Ibadan, who described Governor Ajimobi as a ‘good man’ said he had known the governor for many years as a godly man with human feelings and compassion.
Speaking during a press conference held at his Ibadan Ashram, on Sunday, Maharaji urged the parties affected to explore legal options for crisis resolution.
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He said throughout the years Governor Ajimobi has spent as governor, he (Ajimobi) has demonstrated that he is a father to all.
Maharaji, however, called on the governor to accommodate more all shades of opinions irrespective of their differences.
The state Ministry of Lands and Housing had, on Monday, August 13, issued a three-day notice of demolition to the owners of the Music House.
However, before the ultimatum elapsed, on Wednesday, Ayefele had instituted a legal action against the government before the state High Court, sitting in Ibadan and presided over by Justice Iyabo Yerima.
The court adjourned the case till Monday, August 20, for hearing and ruling on the Ex-parte application brought by Ayefele’s counsel, Mr. Bolanle Olayinka.
At the Music House standing on a plot of land along Lagos-Ibadan bye-pass, Challenge area, Ibadan, hundreds of sympathisers have continued to visit the demolished site, while making uncomplimentary remarks against the person of Governor Ajimobi and the ruling party in the state.
The owner of One Love Family who said people should not demonise the person of the governor on the controversial demolition, also commended the owner of the Music House, Mr. Yinka Ayefele for his industry which he said has created jobs for many unemployed in the society.
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Maharaji said, “I was at the Yinka Ayefele Music House this morning and I learnt that the demolition order was given after several correspondences between the government and Ayefele.
“The governor, to me, is a good man who has demonstrated that he is a father to all. He should accommodate all shades of opinions.
“After all we have many money bags who could not use such money to provide jobs for the jobless and provide food for the hungry. But, this man (Ayefele) in his condition used his money to provide jobs for the people, ” he said.
Speaking further on the freedom of the Press, Maharaji said it is an incontrovertible fact that no one has succeeded in gagging the Press, stating that as the nation is preparing for next year’s general election the authorities must check cases of abuse of freedom of expression in the land.