The Housing Development Advocacy Network, an NGO, has condemned in strong terms the recent demolition of the popular musician, Yinka Ayefele’s N800 million music house, saying it was an economic waste.
Briefing newsmen on Monday in Abuja, the President of the group, Festus Adebayo, described the demolition of the music house of the popular gospel musician as an economic waste and disregard for rule of law.
The Oyo State Government on August 19, demolished the Music House, which housed Fresh FM, a radio station and music studios that belong to the artiste despite a court injunction restraining it from demolition.
Adebayo said: “How can we grow our institutions if we do not respect the rule of law; we need strong institutions led by contented patriots, working collaboratively with other institutions to move things forward.
“What has happened in Ibadan is not about Ayefele, but it is about right or wrong thing, it is also about laws and processes.
“When such act occurred and there are no protest and repercussion on the governor, it emboldens, potentates at all level of the government. This induces fears and uncertainty in the socio-economic development process.”
According to the president, no reasonable investor will invest in an environment where the government cannot obey the rule of law.
Adebayo added that it was unfortunate that those who cannot build houses for their citizens were demolishing the houses built by the citizens.
The Oyo government action in Ibadan reminded us of how former FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed demolished 500 houses on independence in FCT in Abuja (Minanuel Estate) located along Airport road Abuja.
He said: “Nigeria cannot continue with this kind of economic waste in the country where the housing deficit is above 18 million and where the unemployment is increasing on daily bases.”
He said that it was an empirical fact that the citizen of the country must obey the town planning laws but doubted if the people who were implementing the laws even understood it.
Adebayo stated: “Has Yinka Ayefele violated the building code? Did he just violate those building code, if yes, is it a newly enacted building code or pre-existing building code of Oyo state.
“Why did the government not obey the court order refraining it from demolishing the building in a normal society, the government cannot arbitrarily contravene the judge order and that is where our fear lies?
“This fear is also a factor used to coarse people to fall in line into sycophancy and loyalty once you show loyalty and fall in line with the party or government your sins, which may be many may be forgiving.”
Adebayo called on the government of Oyo state to learn how to obey the rule of law to attract investment into the state.
If democracy must thrive, the rule of law must be the order of the day; the governor should join the league of other governors, who are investment and housing friendly in the interest of the society.