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Prince Abiodun Sanda, a retired General Manager of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS, Ile Akede, Ibadan), has kicked against the demolition of the staff quarters of the Station by the Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration, describing it as unwarranted.
The BBC-trained septuagenarian and the initiator of popular IGR-driven programme tagged: ‘Ipate Oja Nile Akede, E Wa’, said the government needed not have demolished the quarters, “but renovate it since there is enough expanse of virgin land in the premises that extends to the Army Barracks boundary. They could have cordoned off the staff quarters and leave the buildings there. The buildings are still strong and not weak to the level that warrants demolishing them. It is like destroying some people’s legacy”, the Oyo Prince told New Telegraph.
He also commented on the reported N10m or N15m collected from private individuals for allocation of a plot of the land, and said: “I heard the government has sold the lands per plot for N10m or N15m. How many BCOS broadcasters or journalists can afford such a humongous amount of money? Where will they get the money? That is the problem. I don’t think I like the idea. I lived there and many of my children have been calling, saying the government wants to demolish Ile Akede. I imagine how Chief Kunle Adeleke, the GM then, will feel now because it was during his time that those structures were built. It will appear that the present government is destroying some people’s legacy to put up theirs. Somebody may come and destroy that place in another 40 years and say I cancel that estate. In short, I am not happy about the demolition. I don’t like it at all”, he said.
He further said that the expanse of land should have been converted to a Training School where budding journalists could be trained and thus reduce the rate of mediocre that now parade themselves as broadcasters. “The staff quarters should have been left there for the late night drivers and staff that work into the night to sleep as it used to be. It was easy for staffers of BCOS to stroll to the station, but now they will have to close late and go to town. If they come late, will you blame them? With the insecurity around town now, who will move around 2 a.m to go to his or her house? When he closes, where does he sleep? It is not advisable, but the deed is done and it cannot be undone”.
Sanda however tried to justify the demolition by the government, saying that not many staff should be kept in the station when several other privately-owned radio stations in Ibadan are operating with just about 15 to 20 staff. “Why keeping about 300 staff in the BCOS? This could have informed Late Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s action of cutting the staff strength and sending many of the staff to the Ministries and other agencies where they could be more productive.
“The present government might have thought that since the staff strength has been reduced, some of the quarters should go. I even learnt on the Facebook through the BCOS Head, Prince Dotun Oyelade, that certain millions of naira (about N5.9m) has been given to the displaced staff to compensate and resettle them. If the government built it in the first instance and government now considers it wasteful, let them go ahead. It is their property; it is not per se BCOS property.
As someone who lived in all the staff quarters of the radio station and even built the Mosque behind the quarters, as well as, the Worship Centre for Christians during his administration, Sanda said he was happy that those worship places are still existing, but said he was unhappy that the living staff quarters have to go down to accommodate an estate to be owned by private individuals.