AFEEZ Fashola who goes by the sobriety Naira Marley arrest and detention is no longer news. Marley set the internet abuzz when he alongside Zlatan and two others were arrested for alleged cyber crimes. Well, it will interest you to know that he and I are brothers. Gosh, I had better mind my tongue before the EFCC launches its venom on me.
I say we are brothers because we, including Olamide’ Baddo’ grew from the same hood, Somolu, Bariga in Lagos. I could remember the Saturdays seeing 9ice ‘Kongo Oso’ as we watched football at the popular Ibukun-Olu Street. I was barely 9years old then. Hence, we recognize the dilemma of a brother in a situation such as this.
The inspiration behind this piece came from the latest comment form popular dance hall artist Timaya. According to him, Marley invited troubles into his life using his own mouth. He did this via his IG.
One begins to wonder, what exactly is Naira Marley’s offense? His arrest came days after the release of the single titled, Am I a Yahoo Boy? Interestingly, the past few months was replete with loads of arrest by the government agency. In a civilized society, it is pertinent that artists are allowed to voice the contents of their hearts as long as it is mere lyrics. Whatever could be the idea behind the decision to arrest, detain and then charge him to court by mere lyrics spoken to the delight of music lovers should be checkmated.
Recall that the period when Falana Falana, aka Falz released the video, ‘This is Nigeria’, it met widespread criticisms. Some religious organisations called for its ban or option of arrest of the artist. But all attempts failed.
Incidentally, the line in the song reads; see me, see trouble. Am I a yahoo boy? That song is a rhetorical question and quite different from the word, I am a yahoo boy. The latter is affirmative.
In this dire moment, some persons have come to intercede for him. Social entreprenuer, Bobrisky, has called for prayers on his behalf. Also some of his fans have buzzed the internet calling for his release, saying that the song doesn’t imply he is one. Lyrically, Marley was just passing a message as other legends like Fela, Sonny Okosun, Osadebe and others you may remember. Even though, it would take a lot to walk in those shoes of an activist.
As the clock ticks, he has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to 11 count charges. However, it is not my intent to support defamation comments, Neither is it my intent to discourage the justice system. Whatever needs to be done to uphold truth and justice ought to be done. But in original creativity, Naira Marley deserves an accolade for speaking about the state of the economic situation of the country. He sure deserves a second chance. He is innocent and needs to be releases to give us a rendition of his popular hit single, Issa Goal.