There has been media buzz on the planned demolition of a hotel in Benin City, Edo State belonging to Tony Adun, aka Kabaka, a former aide to the former governor of the state, Adams Oshiomole.
The government had alleged that Kababa built on it’s land, therefore, needed to be demolished, while the hotel owner argued that the plan was approved by the government and also signed by the palace.
The 7-day notice was given by Edo state Ministry of Urban Planning to remove his hotel, T. Latifa Hotel which is located at Ugbor village.
In the government defence, a governorship aspirant and a family member to the current governor, Dr Pedro Obaseki defended the planned demotion of the government.
He told NAIJA CENTER that Tony Kababa ran to social media to seek public sympathy even though the demolition does not significantly affect the main hotel.
Obaseki said the Edo government was doing a bad job in the narrative, adding that Kababa built in the right of way.
The former governorship aspirant said the people in the community, being that Kababa is having issues with the governor quickly petitioned the government for assistance.
Obaseki told NAIJA CENTER that the residents started the petition since 2016, but Kabaka was untouchable due to his closedness to Adams Oshiomhole.
“This is the so-called Tony Kabakaas hotel. Built on the right of way. His land ended about 50ft to the road and one day, he realised he needed a swimming pool and so decided to annex the road, thereby converting the thoroughfare to a close. The day he fenced the road off, he took over the vicinity and ordered motorists at gunpoint to seek alternative routes.
“He enters the hotel from the access door he created behind whenever he is coming from his house on this same street. The landlords have been crying in silence since 2016.” Obaseki said.
“The residents of the area are the ones that originated the request for demolition. He built his gatehouse in the centre of the road, that is not like he took part in the road, that is different. If you come to that street, for you to access the other side of the road, you have to walk through his gatehouse.
“What is proper is proper, the young man has done well for himself but you cannot at this point in our state begin to take the peoples right of way. When i visited the area, i shut up. I was shocked, imagine, even Buhari will not just build a house along the road.
“In Nigeria, power unchallenged it suddenly becomes the law, that is not how it should be.
“He even admitted in one of his videos that although he has C of O for his house but does not have C of O for the hotel. He is making it look like the government wants to demolish his hotel. What the government told him is to remove the structure on the right of way. He built beyond his boundary. The one that shocked me was the one at the end of his building. He put a gate-house. I can assure you, his hotel is not affected at all, the demolition is not going to affect the hotel.”
Obaseki added, “At the beginning, there was no swimming pool. At the time he finished the building, Oshiomhole was still in power. So, he decided to take over the road.
“When he was doing it, everybody in Benin knew that he came with boys with guns and started diverting traffic. What Tony Kababa did was very wrong. What he was smart about was that he went to social media first and started crying that the government wants to destroy his hotel.”
Kababa has approached the High Court in Benin to seek injunction to stop the state government from demolishing his house pending court’s decision.
Obaseki has vowed that all properties built on government’s land must be destroyed, adding that nobody is above the law.
Why some argued that the governor was after those who challenged his second term ambition, others support the governor’s decision to go after Kababa and other high ranking members of the Edo Peoples Movement.
The crisis originated from the bad blood between the governor and his former boss, Adams Oshiomhole.
Oshiomhole had accused Obaseki of abandoning his boys, including his unfinished projects. On the other hand, the governor argued that there was no money to share to thugs at the detriment of Edo people.