GOVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State says he has nothing personal against Yinka Ayefele, owner of the ‘Music House’ complex which was partly demolished on Sunday, August 19. The complex also houses Fresh Fm, a private radio station also owned by Ayefele.
Ajimobi made this known at a reconciliatory meeting between himself and Ayefele following the controversial demolition which many had described as a show of force on the part of the Governor.
The meeting is reported to have been brokered by concerned stakeholders, including prominent politicians in the state, as well as some Yoruba traditional rulers, including the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi.
At the meeting, Ajimobi insisted that the decision to demolish part of Ayefele’s ‘Music House’ was not taken unilaterally, explaining that it was a collective decision by the state’s executive council, following series of petitions from the residents’ association of the area where the building is located.
“The decision by the government was not solely mine. The state exco agreed to it and I had planned to make my intervention on Monday before learning about the Sunday demolition,” the Nigerian tribune quoted Ajimobi as explaining.
“Going by the building setback law, the whole building should have gone down but only the fence and parts of the entrance was taken.
“We hope lessons are learnt from this because the people surrounding Ayefele pushed emotions on social media by attacking the government.”
The Governor also said sentiments and emotions must be brushed aside when it comes to the enforcement of the law. He pointed out that the state had pulled down part of a building belonging to his own in-law, as well as parts of the University of Ibadan, and the University College Hospital.
“The laws of the land cannot be adjusted for anyone,” Ajimobi said. “Even my in-law, Bashorun Kola Daisi, lost some parts of his buildings during some of the various constructions the state embarked upon in the state.
“It has happened to many people around Bashorun road, also University of Ibadan and University College Hospital.
“So why should we allow sentiments take over instead of actually seeking redress within the ambits of the law?
“The matter is not personal but in the best interest of all stakeholders. Ayefele is a good man but the people around him are using sentiments instead of common sense. I have nothing against Ayefele. He is my brother.”
The Governor subsequently set up a committee, made up of persons from both sides of the dispute, to come up with ideas to ensure a peaceful resolution.
Meanwhile, Ayefele has denied rumours making the rounds purporting that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had given him money to help him in rebuilding his demolished building.
Ayefele’s manager, Toyin Ajiboye, made this known via a Facebook post on Thursday. “The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki did not promise Dr. Yinka Ayefele, Fresh FM or its management any amount of money. Please disregard information being circulated to this regard,” he wrote.
Also, Senator Bukola Saraki has denied ever offering a gift of money to the gospel artiste. According to the Senate President’s spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the claim is ” Cheap propaganda. Lies from scammer mob.”