This is a sad tale of how Goodluck Jonathan’s government demolished over 50 fully completed houses, Oluyole Estate, Abuja, of the international media mogul, Aare Wole Arisekola.
Reflecting on the sad incident, Wole Arisekola aka Wole Streetjournal, the Chairman of AMPON (Association of Online Media Practitioners of Nigeria) wrote; “September 15, 2019 makes it exactly seven years that agents of destruction, led by the then Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Adeyemi Smart and a Director in the Ministry of Housing, went to my Housing Estate along Airport Road, Abuja and demolished over 50 completed buildings.
I was in Ibadan with some friends when my facility managers called me that there were some strange looking people with bulldozers and a detachment of policemen, pulling down the gate to the buildings in my estate. It was like a dream.
I called a few friends who were security agents that I was in distress, that some unknown persons were in my estate, pulling down some houses already paid for and occupied by my clients.
It was a day to remember. Some of my friends responded immediately; the former Brigade Commander led some soldiers to the scene but it was too late; the deed had been done
Properties worth billions of Naira were reduced to rubble.
Sen Smart Adéyemí was heard claiming that the FCT Minister had re-allocated the land to senators few months before they came for the demolition and that he had a plan to build a house for his wife on that particular land.
God is not man, the Almighty knows and weighs every intention of the heart. A saddening twist was that Senator Adeyemi’s beloved, God-fearing wife passed on mysteriously while the case was still in court.
Few months after the demolition, newspapers reported that the Director of the FCT, who led the bulldozers to my site got missing on his way to Kaduna. And he is yet to be found till now.
I dont believe in looking for redress in court because of my faith. I have a firm belief that whatever happens to us as human beings was ordained by the Almighty Allah. Everything belongs to God; He is the giver of all, He gives and takes as it pleases Him, our lives inclusive.
My Company Secretaries, one of whom is now a judge in the High Court however insisted that we must go to court. I told them that whatever the outcome, if there is any compensation, they must use it as Sadakat to charity because I have counted the demolition as a personal loss.
Five years later, I was told they secured a judgement and they were awarded N 3 billion Naira as compensation.
The FCT however appealed against the judgement and the case is still in the Appellate Court.
My mind is made up and I don’t care about the outcome. I am already on the next level.
Allah, in His benevolence has been so kind to me since then. Why then should I question Allah’s decision?
Some people may not know where I am coming from, but majority of the people on my WhatsApp contact list are people that we have been together for almost 30 years and they are mostly security agents.
I remember my University days in the late 80s and early 90s, I was a car dealer in school, shuttling between Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife and Germany.
I would go to Germany during the holidays, import cars and sell them to my lecturers and friends in the Army and Police. We have always been like family. My wife is their sister and my children are their children. I give God the glory; majority of them are still in service doing well; though I lost a few of them.
Thank God for the trust that has been built over the years and for the fact that they know me quite well.
It took some months before I could refund the money most of them paid as deposits on the demolished properties. Some of them even said I should not bother paying them back but I insisted. I told them that the burden was mine, not theirs. They must receive their deposit back. They laboured hard for their money; some sent their savings to me when they were on peace keeping missions abroad.
The one that died when he was on operation, I went to his widow and gave her the $50,000 her late husband sent to me and gave his five children the scholarship to university level.
May the soul of the departed rest in Perfect peace.
Today, I am celebrating all of you for always standing by me. You know that I always show LOYALTY and that is why I always get treated like ROYALTY. People have known me for LOYALTY over the years. Even my ENEMIES trust me more than they trust each other. Both my FRIENDS and ENEMIES know MONEY can’t buy my LOYALTY. Because of that; MONEY comes to me ROYALLY.
Seven years ago, I felt the loss was colossal but today, I have reasons to be grateful to the Almighty Allah, especially for where we were, where we are and where He is leading us to. And most importantly because we are still living.