It was a rowdy Sunday morning in Ibadan, as residents of Oyo State woke up to the partial ruins of the Music House, a building that also houses Fresh FM, a private radio station owned by Yinka Ayefele.
The sudden demolition move by the Oyo State Government seems contrary to the Governor's position in 2015, when Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State visited the establishment and declared its studios the best in the State.
During an interview on the station in 2015, Ajimobi said he was advised to demolish the building shortly after he won his first term bid as the State Governor, because Ayefele, the owner of the station, was alleged to be in the opposition.
His words: “I was advised to demolish this building because Ayefele was not in our camp. I was told he was in the habit of criticising us in his songs, but I thought demolishing the building was not necessary. A political opponent can become an ally.
“I am happy that I did not demolish this building as I was advised then. Isn’t it the same Ayefele, who is now seated beside me?
“I am even more delighted that when I got here, I saw that the building is well-managed. I’m always impressed when I see things being properly managed. The studios are neat... without any equivocation, it is the best studio I have seen in Oyo State.”
Unfortunately, Ayefele seems to have fallen out of the good books of the Ajimobi-led Oyo State Government.
Although, in 2012, there was a report on the possible demolition of the building for failing to comply with the approved plan for the structure, but with the Governor’s visit and commendation, it must have been assumed that all was well.
The Oyo State Government, in a demolition notice served on the property a few days ago, said it “found [the structure] to be structurally defective/poses danger or constitutes a nuisance to the occupier or the general public,” and thereby that the building be removed within three days, “failure of which the government shall effect the removal and commence legal action against you in accordance with Section 43 of the law.”
Ayefele has, however, maintained that the demolition of his self-valued N800 million Music House was political motivated. The government, on the other hand, denied any of such biases as its reason, insisting instead that the building failed to meet the State’s approved structural standards.