On Saturday, we witnessed one of the boldest actions by an artiste since the rebellious of popular Afro beats icon; Fela.
All over social media on Sunday, clips from a Music Concert headlined by Naira Marley and Kim Oprah in contravention of the government’s directive on events and social distancing in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country, flooded the internet. The action was widely condemned but some others (most likely ‘Marlians’) applauded it.
While Naira Marley is the face of the entire event, it would be naive to believe that the concert was his initiative alone. You don’t have to give it much thought to know that there were sponsors behind it. So, in retrospect, if you were thinking about a repercussion and a response from the government, its highly unlikely that the singer will get punished alone.
It’s simple, the show had organisers and naturally, these ones are likely to be the first port of call. On Twitter today, we found this to be the exact case:
BREAKING: @hadisirika says the flight that took @officialnairam1 to Abuja was approved for a different purpose, to convey a service Justice from Lagos to Abuja and back, on official assignment. (Judiciary considered essential services). Flight operator violated approval. (1)
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) June 15, 2020
Flight that got Naira Marley to Abuja was meant for a Judge, Hon Justice Adefope Okoji and Excujet services is now suspended and would be heavily sanctioned.
Thought we all agreed to video conferencing, please what was the Judge going to do in Abuja? pic.twitter.com/xf86JTXPlV
— Naija (@Naija_PR) June 15, 2020
The first person or in this situation, organisation to take the fall, for the irresponsible actions of Saturday was Executive Jet Services (ExecuJets), the airline that flew the singer from Lagos to Abuja. This is coming hours after the Jabi Lake Mall, venue of the concert was sealed by the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA).
Official court injunction to seal off Jabi Lake Mall pic.twitter.com/G1wR0n9BVO
— NTA News (@NTANewsNow) June 14, 2020
— The FCT Authorities Seals Off – Jabi Lake Mall – Indefinitely Over – Naira Marley – Concert Breach Of COVID-19 Directives. pic.twitter.com/J6LXsSNlYT
— – Viral Trendz (@TheViralTrendz) June 14, 2020
BREAKING: Nigerian Government Suspends Aviation Company Which Flew Naira Marley To Abuja Indefinitely https://t.co/jaT2kPPA1i
— Bloogify.com (@bloogifydotcom) June 15, 2020
Some are of the opinion that since churches and mosques have been allowed to reopen or are warming up to reopen, why not social ones? But with the flight thing, there is zero ambiguity. The government has not lifted its ban on interstate travel, so Naira Marley’s travel from Lagos to Abuja deserves to be sanctioned.
This was discussed on Twitter today and here’s what we gathered:
U ban d flight dat carried Naira Marley to Abuja, but didn’t do anything to the event organizers, the attendees and Naira Marley himself nor any member of his team…
are you people okay like this?
Shey the pilot been know say Naira Marley dey go do the lords work?
— GODFATHER OF PORT HARCOURT ™ (@Kre8tur) June 15, 2020
Execujets that flew naira marley to Abuja gets suspended, jabi lake mall shut and uncle marley is still free??Obaseki needs to visit naira marley's herbalist sha
— Uchenna Ugwuzion (@u_ugwuzion) June 15, 2020
Breaking the law with impunity is becoming unattractive. Jabi Lake Mall sealed and fined. ExecuJet suspended and fined. Pilot punished. That alakori omo is next to be taken and locked up somewhere he won't see sun for months. The organizers must be fished out and punished too.
— Lanre Abdurrazaq (@MOAbdurrazaq) June 15, 2020
The FCTA has sealed up the Jabi lake mall where Naira marley’s concert was held. But my question is, someone approved that show to go on,someone must have also approved the flight to Abuja. I think we should start from that “ someone” if we are really serious. This country sef??♂️
— Osama? (@osirmah) June 14, 2020
How did naira Marley got to Abuja?
Information from the #PTF, has it that; the flight that took naira Marley to Abuja was approved by the govt for a judge oh and not Marley.
Now, how we go settle this matter?
— Adonye Chapp-jumbo (@adonye_jumbo) June 15, 2020
For Chinedu Okafor, its all about making an impact with words, creating a profound impression on the audience with the intended narrative.