I love Fresh FM. That’s the only station I listen to in Ibadan. Fresh FM is a breath of fresh air (no pun intended) to radio broadcast in Ibadan. From the days of Radio O-Y-O with impresarios such as the ageless Yanju Adegbite (your music merchant), Aunty Deola Alagbe and the popular duo Komolafe Olaiya and Olalomi Amole, to Splash FM with the innovative and pacesetting Yoruba newspapering programme ‘T’ifun T’edo) with Kolawole Ladoke, Aunty Folake Otuyelu and others, now to the creativity of Fresh FM, radio broadcast has never been this fun and competitive.
Ibadan has a bouquet of radio stations such as Inspiration FM, Petals, Lagelu FM, 32FM, Naija FM, Lead FM, Space FM, Star FM, Impact Business Radio, Amuludun FM, Oluyole FM, Beats Radio, Diamond FM and Raypower FM among others including those previously mentioned, it is quite clear that Fresh FM is the undisputed leader.
O Gbenutan is a programme almost everyone tunes to in Ibadan. The use of Yoruba language and the delivery is so succinct you can’t afford not to love the programme. It’s a daily five-star broadcast. Freshly Pressed is absolutely good. I have fallen in love with Alhaji Abolade Salami’s night broadcast where he tries to mediate on community issues with some other elders in the land. I was glued to the radio in my car the night Oga Yinka Ayefele had to take over the driver’s seat and mediate between Alhaji Salami and a popular female Muslim travel agent, Alhaja Kaola. One of my favourites remain Enitan EOB and Yinka Ayefele’s collabo. That is one programme that flows with unusual creativity and wit. Initially, I wasn’t impressed with Rolake Bello on her evening shift but she has now settled into her own skin. Olalomi Amole and Komolafe Olaiya are simply ageless. They have reinvented themselves and refused to go away. Kenny Ogunmiloro is in a class of his own in terms of sports presentation. Lori Papa with Mr Sports is the best Yoruba sports presentation anywhere. You can take that to the bank.
My all-time favourite however is the Thursday Mind Your Language with Adedotun Adeniyi. That guy is good! And the programme is absolutely educative. His delivery is flawless and unique. It seems all the presenters are carefully selected and that is why the station keeps getting rave reviews every time.
So it is understandable that the demolition notice served on the station will cause some public uproar. However, where sentiment rules, truth is the first casualty. Did Fresh FM contravene Urban planning and building regulations? I think this is the key issue. Were they served demolition notice in the past? I think this has been acknowledged. Have they regularized deficiencies noted at that time? That is a question to answer.
Looking at the road as you approach the Music House, it’s quite obvious that certain things are not right. We can’t violate town planning policies and regulations and leverage on public approval to whip up support. It doesn’t even matter whatever we feel about the government of the day. Laws are laws. No one should be above them.
I suggest Fresh FM can approach the courts for a stay of the exercise while they approach the State Government to consider regularization of identified breaches. I also think this issue was badly managed by Fresh FM as it shouldn’t have been made a public issue. I listened to many callers on their programmes yesterday and it was akin to whipping up public sentiment. That was a faux pas.
Adeyinka, public affairs analyst, writes this from Ibadan.