Published On: Fri, Aug 24th, 2018

Oyo state demolition of Fresh FM station and matters arising

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The news of demolition of the building housing the Fresh FM Radio station in Ibadan by the Oyo state government came as a rude shock to many.
The station, owned by a disabled ace musician, Yinka Ayefele, which, it was learnt, had in its employment over 150 persons was pulled down on the order of the state governor, Abiola Ajimobi, even when the management had procured a court order restraining the authorities from doing so.
It is disheartening that a government that professes to be people oriented and rule of law compliant could carry out such dastardly act without blinking an eyelid. The action goes to show that the Oyo state government is intolerant of criticisms and may have resolved to clamp-down on the media.
Granted that the building may have flouted some rules, one wondered the haste in pulling it down when the matter still subsists in the court of law. Destroying an edifice of N800 million belonging to a disabled man at a time when men with limbs and legs are yet to find their rhythm is the height of callousness and insensitivity. It is a demonstration of naked power at a time tact should be deployed.
Carrying out ill-fated demolition at the twilight of a general election is an unpardonable political calculation by the governor whose party will soon require votes from the electorates. The widespread condemnation of the action may affect the performance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in a state where ruthlessness is not condoned, in 2019.
Although the deed had been done, the governor can still make amends if only he could admit his mistake and engage Ayefele in a negotiation aimed at mitigating his loss. The image of the state is currently at the lowest ebb following the public emotions that went the way of the hapless musician.

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