Friends, supporters and other concerned persons have counselled gospel musician Yinka Ayefele to remain strong in the aftermath of the razing of his N800m Music House by the Oyo State Government in the early hours of Sunday.
There was protest in Ibadan on Sunday after the Oyo State Government demolished the Music House which housed Fresh FM, a radio station and music studios that belong to artiste, Yinka Ayefele.
The government had razed the structure despite a court injunction restraining it from carrying out the demolition.
Among the sympathisers at the scene were prominent broadcasters in the state and politicians who condemned the government action.
A governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, Seyi Makinde, pleaded for calm while calling on Ayefele and staff of the radio station to remain strong.
Last week, the state government served the building owner a demolition notice, stating that the building contravened physical planning law in the state, while also ordering its demolition within three days of the notice.
The building, located at Challenge area of Ibadan, was valued at over N800m.
After the security men and the demolition team had left the scene, fans of Ayefele and the radio station staged a protest against the government action.
The protesters blocked a section of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, causing a gridlock, with hundreds of vehicles forced to seek alternative routes.
The protesters, who remained at the scene for more than 10 hours, threw objects at vehicles with stickers of the All Progressives Congress or anyone suspected to belong to the APC government in the state or its sympathisers.
PDP governorship aspirant, Seyi Makinde, said, “I had to personally visit the station to confirm the incident because I believe that no government under civilian rule could contemplate, not to talk of actually, bulldozing a popular radio station under flimsy excuse.
“My visit was beyond politics, as the sad development endangers freedom of speech, which is the rock upon which true democracy is built.”
When the station returned on air from an alternative studio outside the building, Ayefele called on sympathisers to be calm, while saying the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Toye Arulogun, was the one behind the demolition.
Efforts by our correspondent to get the commissioner’s response were not successful, as his mobile telephone was switched off.
A text message sent to the number was not responded to either.