Playing The Big Strong Man With Power, Is Ajimobi Remorseful Or Ayefele, Repentant?

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The Oasis Reporters

November 24, 2018

Smiling for the camera, Yinka Ayefele(left), Gov. Abiola Ajimobi (right) at the Olubadan palace.

The storm is over at the popular musician, Yinka Ayefele’s radio station-Fresh 105.9FM, Ibadan.
Yinka Ayefele had insisted that he followed all due process in constructing his radio station with all approvals duly given.

There’s always a wide gulf between the independent media with government at any time, for each views the other with suspicion.

Quite aware of this, Fresh FM radio sought to court the Oyo State governor by inviting him to the radio station for an interview, and with lame duck questions, everyone’s cheery and friendship is struck. Governor Ajimobi was so pleased, he praised the work put into the construction of the studio and in an unguarded flow of emotions, openly confessed that he had been advised to demolish the station, then seen as an enemy to the government.

Gov. Abiola Ajimobi displaying his geniality and capability to make people laugh.
In an earlier interview at Fresh FM Studios, he made Yinka Ayefele break into laughter.

But being such an indulgent and wise leader of his people, he told the counsellors that your enemy today, could be your best friend tomorrow, and let the station be. This was a surprise to the ears of Ayefele. It did not stop the station from playing the role of society watchdog, right or wrong, for some Ibadan watchers did say that one or two programmes aired in the studio were probably a tad too harsh on the government, especially the relocation of the abattoir from the now congested Bodija market to a district outside of Ibadan.

The same observers say that Fresh FM’s airing of the reactions of the traders and meat sellers showed bias against the government because, indeed the seepage of animal blood into the soil there was not only constituting a huge hazard to health and underground drinking water, the place stank terribly.

Ajimobi was said to have been furious. Then wielded the full powers of an executive governor with anger, and rolled in the bulldozer which flattened a part of the building on a Sunday morning when no courts were open to get any injunction.

The reaction that followed the action from global media and ordinary citizens of Ibadan people, plus Ajimobi’s dry attempt with a grim face told the hitherto ebullient politician that this time, his high handedness was going to yield no political capital.

“The building that they said we demolished, that man did not obey the law”, Ajimobi’s conscience torn between admitting the truth before a no nonsense international media like the BBC of London in the heart of hundreds of years of British democracy, and Oyo government lawyer denying culpability in Nigeria’s court, a country where executive impunity reigns.

Worse still was being torn between defending himself before the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, Yoruba Television, “the building that THEY SAID we demolished”, and the outright denial of government counsel in court that the government had no hand in pulling down the building.
Ajimobi knew his reputation was being torn to shreds, especially with a general election, barely six months away. There just had to be some backroom fence mending to save face, he must have thought.

 

In ruins, Ayefele’s radio station, Fresh FM Radio 105.9 MHz.

Yinka Ayefele was seen showering encomiums on the Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi for fulfilling his promise to assist in rebuilding his partially demolished Music House.

In a statement, Ayefele said the Governor had the choice of asking him to go and rebuild the Music House but he was magnanimous and compassionate to have promised to rebuild the affected areas. “It is not common to find government doing that, anything near that is to allow you to rebuild it yourself but here the Governor promised and he has fulfilled his promise”, said Ayefele in the release.

”Let me use this opportunity to register my heartfelt gratitude and sincere appreciation to my Governor, Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi for his prompt positive response to our plight. It is not our right but the Governor only showed us mercy by offering to help us to rebuild the Music House. He, has, through this magnanimity helped us to right our wrong and we’ll be eternally grateful to him.

“I was surprised to see some engineers reportedly from the governor’s office some weeks ago on the instruction of the state government to start work on the Music House. I had thought it would be the usual promise but our dear governor proved us wrong and with this development he has demonstrated the qualities only found in true and exceptional leaders”, the statement added.

In August 2019, Oyo State Government demolished some parts of the Music House Complex after serving the management demolition notice for allegedly contravening building plan.

Ajimobi on his side has said that he is reconstructing Ayefele’s music house because he (Ayefele) accepted his wrong, which explained the change in mind and role of his government in the ongoing reconstruction of the façade of the Music House, owned by the Gospel Musician, Mr. Yinka Ayefele.

Ajimobi and his government came under fire when part of the building, which houses a popular radio station, Fresh FM, was pulled down for allegedly contravening environmental law, resulting in interventions that brought Ayefele and the state government together for amicable resolution.

Giving reason why the position of the government on the building changed, the Special Adviser to Ajimobi on Communication and Strategy, Bolaji Tunji, on Sunday, said its intervention was necessitated by the acknowledgment of contravention of the state building code by the management of the Music House and the personal appeal by Ayefele to the governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi.

The governor’s spokesman also added that the appeal by various stakeholders to the state government, as well as the preparedness of the owner of the building to rectify the contraventions, which would involve the reduction of the frontage fence line by 1.5m, among others, informed the intervention by the governor.

He added that the parking lots at the tail end of the building close to the entrance of Lagelu Estate had also been reduced by 10.9m to allow visibility.

Similarly, he said that the current frontage of the building was being remodeled to become the back of the building, while the current back of the building had been converted to the frontage.

In line with the recommendation of the joint committee of the state government and the Music House management, he said that an entrance was being reconstructed from the rear of the building to the staircase housing the ram for the exclusive use of Ayefele.

He added that the parking lots at the tail end of the building close to the entrance of Lagelu Estate had also been reduced by 10.9m to allow visibility.

Similarly, he said that the current frontage of the building was being remodeled to become the back of the building, while the current back of the building had been converted to the frontage.

Tunji also pointed out that based on the recommendation of the joint committee and the Music House management, an entrance was being reconstructed from the rear of the building to the staircase housing the ram for the exclusive use of Ayefele.

He added, “There is also the recession of the current façade on the frontage of the building by 2.9m. The new fence will be grill fence to ensure visibility, while a staircase will be built at the basement to access the studio.

“The structural elements in the building will also be strengthened, while the two projections at both ends (stair halls) of the current frontage will be retained.”

Tunji said that the clarification by the government, as well as newspaper reports credited to Ayefele on Sunday where he thanked Ajimobi and stated that the governor had “through this magnanimity helped us to right our wrong and we shall be eternally grateful to him” should lay the matter to rest.

He advised those seeking to rubbish the political capital built by the governor in the past seven years through purposeful governance and unprecedented achievements to look elsewhere.

Tunji added, “Following Mr Ayefele’s admittance of breach of procedures in the construction of the building and his subsequent apologies, as well as intervention of well-meaning members of the public, the governor agreed to temper justice with mercy.

“The governor’s approval on the reconciliation of the issue was communicated to Mr Ayefele on October 19, 2018, where His Excellency also approved the assistance on the reconciliation agreed upon on compassionate grounds, as he earlier promised publicly.”

“It is necessary to put it on records that the governor or the state government was not out to witch-hunt the popular musician or anybody, but had acted to safeguard members of the public who daily ply the roads contiguous to the Music House.”

In conclusion therefore, brinkmanship, understanding, apology, remorse and compassion won the battle. The legal action instituted by Yinka Ayefele would be settled out of court and peace shall reign. Taxpayers money would pick the bill.

Additional information: Inside Oyo

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Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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