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‘Armed Robbers Employ People, Like Ayefele’, Ajimobi’s Poor Response, Troubled Looks On BBC (Photos)


The Oasis Reporters

August 24, 2018

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.
Gov. Ajimobi saying very thoughtful things, thanking God for not listening to counsel to demolish Ayefele’s Studio, because an enemy today can be a friend tomorrow.
Resplendent, happy and at home in Ayefele’s Fresh FM studio.

Governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi is looking very worried. Watching him on a BBC Yoruba Service program openly betrayed his state of emotions. He seems troubled, and not very confident of the ill thought out vendetta he carried out against Yinka Ayefele, an entrepreneur with disabilities, a man who rose from the nadir of despair and depression after an automobile accident that led to the loss of his ability to walk again, into reckoning again just by the sheer power of his musical abilities with which he made money and established a radio station with music studios that employs 150 persons in a state where the state government cannot pay salaries.

Contrasting this snapshot image during his ‘hardtalk’ interview on BBC Yoruba Service, the fun and geniality at Fresh FM studios had disappeared. This does not look cool at all.
The deed had been done and a tearful Yinka Ayefele on wheelchair sees this as a stab in the back.
“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.
This face does not seem happy at all. Look at the faces of aides behind him, who amongst them is looking cheery?

Abiola is probably filled with regrets now, over the backlash he is getting and the goodwill he has lost.

Reading Yinka’s account of events leading to the demolition of his studio, it is difficult to understand whether the property is an illegal structure which is hazardous to the health and safety of citizens or the class of business he is operating from there is illegal.

Read on:

“My Wife knelt down for 4 hours begging Ajimobi, he gave her $1,000 and assured her that he won’t demolish the building — Ayefele.

The proprietor of Fresh F.M radio, Yinka Ayefele, has described as untrue, comments from an official of the government that the demolished music house was not approved to host the radio station.
Ayefele, who spoke at a news conference in Ibadan, on Monday evening, said two studios were in the building plan submitted to the government and approved over 10 years ago, precisely on June 6, 2008.
The gospel artiste, who fought back tears while addressing journalists, also disclosed how his wife knelt down for four hours, begging Governor Abiola Ajimobi to rescind his decision.

“My wife was with the governor till around 3:00 a.m on Saturday. She was able to meet the governor and he assured her that the building will not be demolished and as an assurance, when she was leaving, the governor gave her $1, 000.
“I would have gone with her but I had been hospitalized a day after the three days demolition notice was given to us by the government. There is no defense for this vindictive and politically motivated destruction of a thriving business in a city that needs economic and job opportunities for its citizens,” Ayefele said.

On the accusation from the government that he shunned a letter requesting a regularisation of the building plan, he said his architects were already working on a new plan before the bulldozers were rolled in to pull down the edifice.
“In the approved plan of the music house, we requested an approval for a business complex with proposed two studios and the plan was approved. The building is more than 10 years. Are they now saying that a radio license which costs several million to obtain is not a business venture?
“They did not only demolish the building, our recently acquired broadcast equipment worth N28 million was equally damaged. We are still putting the cost (of the damage) together.
“The demolition notice they brought was three days. There is a confirmation that the state government is responsible for the demolition as against what their counsel said in court.
“We have relocated our studio and Fresh F.M is fully back on air. It is only the NBC that can stop us from broadcasting. Fresh FM is a small business that should be encouraged and not destroyed,” he said.”

Abiola Ajimobi’s response:

“About the house that they said we demolished, that man did not obey the law now.
And they are saying he is physically challenged, so if someone is physically challenged he should disobey the law?
They said he employed people, even armed robbers too employ people. Should we now say because armed robbers employ people they should keep robbing people?”

Such a very poor taste in response. Very much unlike Ajimobi that started quite well as an amiable and well loved handsome governor. He came from the Oil industry management where the money is fat and the people are rich. Therefore Ajimobi was always smiling.

During the petrol pump price increase by then President Goodluck Jonathan’s government that led to a crippling nationwide strike, despite being an ACN opposition governor, he did not join the ‘crucify Jonathan’ bandwagon but merely admonished Oyo State Government civil servants to kindly not join in the strike because it was a federal government issue.

He was then, such a genial governor that would be a team player and an objective man.

Until the bottom fell off the oil industry with plummeting prices and reduced allocation to states government revenue coffers. That was when Ajimobi first lost his marbles and his managerial abilities came into questioning. Salaries became late in coming. He simply had no alternative.
Unlike his then counterpart in Anambra state, Peter Obi who had debilitating political challenges, yet pursued the path of industrializing his state through the private sector. This yielded huge taxes as internally generated revenue. Throughout Peter Obi’s tenure, he had no trouble paying salaries and leaving a decent bank balance for his successor.

Ajimobi is certain to leave mountains of huge debts when he leaves office on May 29, 2019. His partial demolition of the private and thriving business of Yinka Ayefele out of vendetta shows small-mindedness and a lack of understanding of how economy grows.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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