By David-Chyddy Eleke
Not very long ago, I read of a girls secondary school in Lagos, where teenage girls who are part of a group loyal to Naira Marley, and referred to as Marlians were detected as always coming to school pantless.
I was not sure how true that piece of news was, especially these days of social media, where you can not trust every piece of information you find on the internet. But the story went that the girls, a group of cult members always came to school without underwear. Even when they wore any from home, may be because of the close supervision from their parents, they always took them off and put same in their school bags before entering the school compound as it is the rule in their cult.
The male folks also have their own group of Marlians and apparently they have their own rules. If you are a Marlian, strange things are not strange, and supposed bad acts are not bad. For example, doing hard drug is no qualms for Marlians. Masturbation is openly supported too. One youngster even told me that group sex, is also encouraged by Marlians and referred to as groupy.
I feel for the youths of today. They have very few role models to emulate. This is made even worse by the reverence we attach to material things these days. In a country where the youths are hungry for a role model, and where riches are now seen as the yardstick for measuring those who have attained heights, the likes of Naira Marley have appeared on the scene to fill the void.
Azeez Fashola, real name of the Nigerian music star, most popularly known as Naira Marley has been declared officially by the federal government as being above the law. Don’t argue with me please. He is above the law, or maybe above Nigerian laws. You may not have read President Buhari saying so, but the actions of the leaders of the country is enough for us to conclude so.
Despite interstate travel ban in the country as part of the ways to beat COVID-19 pandemic, the soapy cronner last weekend, jetted out of Lagos to Abuja to entertain fun seekers in a concert at the Jabi Lake Mall.
Marley and nine of his crew members flew a private jet owned by Executive Jets Services to attend the concert. Shortly after the concert, Nigerians rose in condemnation of the musician for beating the interstate travel ban. Nigerians reacting on social media called out the musician, with some raising questions as to why the Federal government turned a blind eye to this.
Then, government reacted. How did they react? First, the Aviation ministry suspended the services of the ExecuJets, not minding that they got authorisation to fly the musician from them.
Second, FCT authorities swooped on the Jabi Lake Mall and closed it indefinitely because the concert was held in the premises.
Then, what happened to Naira Marley for playing at the concert? Nothing. Yes, I mean nothing. And that is because he is above the law. Marley is back in Lagos, and flew same jet home, and enjoying proceeds from the concert, but the venue of the concert has been closed, and the aircraft that conveyed him there, banned. How else do you name a man an outlaw?
Executive Jets in a press release apologised to FG for conveying the musician and his crew, saying they saw Babatunde Fashola on the manifest and concluded that it was the former Lagos State governor, “not knowing that it was a bunch of useless people.”
Despite the apology, I have not heard that the FG has rescinded its decision on the company, nor have I heard that an investigation has been opened on the matter. No one is even talking about Azeez Fashola (Naira Marley), who may have in a bit to beat the interstate travel ban, entered his younger brother’s name, Babatunde Fashola as first on the manifest, to deceive the company into believing it was same as the minister.
In a country where we claim to to place emphasis on the growth of the youths, one is tempted to ask how we hope to achieve this when the people who enjoy power, fame and attention are the bad influence amongst us?
There have recently been uproar over the rate of rape in the country, which even president Buhari expressing concern, but here we have a character that has been in and out of trouble, but always courts more trouble after he is free from another. A character who is propagating use of hard drug, masturbation and group sex, has turned into an adorable character, yet we are preaching against rape.
How can we convince a young secondary school girl to work hard to become an actress like Funke Akindele when she does not have the connection to free herself from arrest after holding a small birthday party in her house for her dear husband?
Tell me how a young boy should want to study hard to become a lawyer, engineer, journalist or medical doctor when he can just become a Naira Marley and have so much power, money and connection to break laws and move freely, or even become a Bobrisky and boast of how he has many sex partners around the corridors of power, as an alibi to do whatever he pleases.
As his own apology or reaction if you like, Naira Marley has twitted and said that for referring to him and his crew as a bunch of useless people, he will never fly Executive Jets again, while also reminding that over 200,000 of his members (Marlians) use the company’s services, but will stop forthwith. That is all the apology Naira Marley owes us. To federal government and their claims to attention for education, I can only say – Nakwa echeki (consult your Igbo brother for interpretation).