- Outcry as Oyo Demolishes Ayefele’s Music House
There was outrage yesterday over the demolition of popular singer Yinka Ayefele’s building housing the radio station, Fresh FM, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The government, last Thursday, threatened to demolish the building for allegedly contravention of the state’s building codes.
Thousands of residents stormed the Music House building housing the private radio station on Aare Arisekola Alao Way at Challenge in Ibadan.
Many of them carried placards.
They sang solidarity songs condemning the government for destroying the property.
The station’s Director of Corporate Affairs and Promotions, Mr David Ajiboye, said a N28 million transmission equipment, which was reportedly delivered to the radio station last week and yet to be inaugurated, was among property destroyed.
The singer’s fans caused a traffic snarl around Challenge en route the Toll Gate as well as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway .
Part of the building, called Music House, was demolished around 4.30 am by a team, including soldiers in tow.
The operation was said to have lasted about an hour.
The affected parts include the fence, the spiral staircase, front of the building and the topmost part, which serves as waiting area to Ayefele’s office.
The station stopped transmission for about two hours, urging the crowd not to take laws into its hands.
Ayefele urged his supporters not to damage the mass transit bus parked in front of the Music House.
Prominent individuals who visited the station include the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant, Seyi Makinde; Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, of Africa Democratic Party (ADC); Sharafadeen Aliu (ADC); former deputy governor and ex-Nigerian Ambassador to Jordan Taofeek Arapaja; member of the House of Representatives for Ibadan North East/South East Mr Dapo Lam-Adeshina, Olusegun Olaleye; and Dr Wasiu Olatubosun.
They described the demolition as callous.
The government, on August 13, issued a three-day notice of demolition to the owners of Music House.
Before the ultimatum lapsed last Wednesday, Ayefele had filed a suit against the government before the State High Court, sitting in Ibadan and presided over by Justice Iyabo Yerima.
The court adjourned the matter till today (Monday) for hearing and ruling on the ex parte application filed by Ayefele’s lawyer Bolanle Olayinka.
Last week, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun, said the decision to demolish the structure was based on contravention of planning laws.
He added that many other structures that contravened the planning laws were also served with notices of demolition.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy Mr Bolaji Tunji said the matter had been on between the government and owners of Music House.
The Oyo State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said it was disturbed by the demolition.
In a statement by its Chairman and Secretary, Adewumi Faniran and Bola Ogunlayi, the union said it was “particularly worried that the exercise had to be carried out when the matter is before a court of competent jurisdiction”.
The statement said: “As the Fourth Estate of the Realm and believers in the rule of law, Oyo State NUJ expected that the court would have been left to take a definite decision on the demolition before it was carried out.
“The Oyo State Council, therefore, calls on the government to ensure that no matter what, it comes to the aid of Fresh FM, which has been a pride of Ibadan in particular and Oyo State as a whole, by relocating them to another site and ensure smooth take-off of their operations once again.”
The owner of One Love Family, Satguru Maharaji, yesterday urged residents not to demonise Governor Abiola Ajimobi and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), on the demolition.
Maharaji, a prince of Ibadan who described Ajimobi as a good man, said he had known the governor for many years as a godly man with human feelings and compassion.
Addressing reporters at his Ibadan Ashram to mark 25 years of declaration on Nigeria as a war-free country, Maharaji urged the parties to explore legal options to resolve the matter.
He said: “I was at Yinka Ayefele’s Music House this morning (yesterday) and I learnt that the governor gave demolition order after several correspondences between the government and Ayefele. The governor, to me, is a good man who has demonstrated that he is a father to all.
“He should accommodate all shades of opinion. After all, we have many money bags who could not use such money to provide jobs for the jobless and provide food for the hungry. But this man (Ayefele), depsite his condition, used his money to provide jobs for the people.”
On his Facebook page after the demolition, Ayefele said: “Oyo State government did at last… My pains, my sweat… So help me God.”
Others on the scene include the Secretary of Unity Forum, a splinter group in the state chapter of the APC, Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun, and the lawmaker representing Ibadan North in the House of Assembly Olusegun Olaleye.
The NUJ has expressed anger at the demolition of Music House in Ibadan.
In a statement last night by its National President Waheed Odusile, the union said: “We are particularly alarmed by the reckless action of the Government of Oyo State, which demolished the premises of Fresh FM in Ibadan. “For whatever reason, the destruction of the media house by agents of Governor Abiola Ajimobi was insensitive and punitive and an attempt to stifle the media.”
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
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