SPN sympathises with staff and management of Fresh FM and demands adequate compensation to be paid by the government
The Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN, Oyo State Chapter, describes the demolition of the Fresh FM building popularly known as Music House by the Oyo State government as the height of administrative recklessness of Senator Abiola Ajimobi/APC-led government in the state. The building which is said to worth N800million and situated along challenge Toll Gate Express Way in Ibadan was demolished on Sunday, August 19, 2018 in the dead of the night. This was after the state government had been reportedly served a notice of court process instituted by the Fresh FM management at State High Court in Ibadan to challenge the demolition notice earlier issued by state government. The demolition notice was issued by the state government on the ground that the existing building that housed the radio station contravened what is contained in the approved building plan.
As much as we of the SPN are fully aware of and strongly opposed to the practise of shylock developers who in cahoot with corrupt government officials routinely contravene approved building plan and standards something which has led to numerous building collapse in different parts of the country as well as other calamities. However in this particular case regarding Music House, regardless of the merit of the grounds for demolition, we totally condemn the Oyo State government for being in haste to demolish the structure especially when the case instituted against the demolition notice had been scheduled to come up at state high court in Ibadan on Monday, August 20, 2018.
It is a trite law that once a matter has been taken to court for adjudication, all parties are expected to halt all further actions and wait for the court to rule. This is the honourable path that should have been toed by Governor Ajimobi if there were no personal or political motivations involved. Therefore by taking this action in contravention of an on-going court process, the Ajimobi-led administration of Oyo state, in addition to being an anti-worker, anti-poor and anti-student government, has further demonstrated that it is a law breaker and that the motive behind the demolition is an obvious witch-hunt and far beyond the claim of diversion from the approved building plan.
There is an evidence of a letter dated July 3, 2018 which was written on behalf of the Oyo State government through the office of Attorney General and commissioner for justice to the management of Fresh FM wherein the radio station was accused of libelous broadcast against the personality of Senator Abiola Ajimobi. The Oyo State government in the said letter accused Fresh FM of allowing Mr Dare Adekanbi, of Nigeria Tribune, who is a regular panelist in one of the programme usually run on the Fresh FM by Mr Isaac Brown that claimed “Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the State governor of having interest and share in the private company involved in the building and operation of the new abattoir”
It is in the light of this background that we of the SPN see the demolition carried out by the Oyo State government as the use of state apparatus and might to suppress a dissenting view and opinion. This kind of despotic act exhibited by Senator Ajimobi-led government which represents a deliberate and conscious way to stifle the limited democratic gains with the inception of civil rule in 1999 is an indication of how far any member of the capitalist class regardless of political party of affiliation could be ruthless in a desperation to crush any obstacle against their self-serving interest.
This is same manner a public abattoir situated in Bodija market was also demolished barely a month ago in the middle of the night by the same Ajimobi-led government out of the desperation to force the butchers to relocate to a private abattoir situated at the Amusun village in the Akinyele LGA in order to create a patronage and market for this new abattoir which is to be run for private profit interest of political acolytes
SPN therefore commends thousands of working people which include students, workers and different groups of artisans who trooped out following the news of the demolition to sympathise with staff and management of fresh FM in a mass condemnation of the politically motivated demolition. The trade union movement and the working masses should not see this demolition as a matter that concerns Fresh FM alone but also the general public who listens to the radio station, especially when the developments is just one of how the Ajimobi-led government and the entire capitalist class respond to dissent.
Hence, the trade union movement particularly the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ and the working masses in Oyo should respond to this development with a coordinated and sustained mass actions and protest aimed at condemning the demolition of Fresh FM in contravention of a court process as well as all demolitions of people’s homes and shops without compensation going on in different part of the state but which does not enjoy any reportage. This kind of mass action could also be used to prevail on Senator Ajimobi-led government to meet the demands of all the striking workers in all the six tertiary institution full owned by the Oyo State government.
Comrade Kolapo Oladapo Comrade Ayodeji Adigun
State Chairperson State Secretary
State Chairperson State Secretary