By Nelson Ekujumi
It was late Afro beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti popularly called Abami Eda or and Baba 70 who sang the following lines of “Human right na my property, so therefore, you can’t dash me, my property” in one of his several hit tunes for which posterity is ever grateful for how he deployed his musical skills to affect the society at large.Therefore, like Fela rightly sang and in adding some new lines, “The right to be aggrieved or to protest in registering a position or view point is a natural right”. So, protest as a form of expression of grievance or to highlight an issue whether genuine or petty is man’s property which nobody can dash him or take away, it is natural.
Recently, the media space has been awash with a planned protest by some persons allegedly spearheaded by R & B crooner, Tuface Idibia in Lagos on 6th of February, 2017 which has been generating reactions in the polity.
Well, the planned protest by Tuface Idibia and his group for reasons best known to them which has been interpreted in many form and colour is a welcome development in our democratic environment because it typifies how the political consciousness of the people is widening if conventional musicians can leave their comfort zone to venture into other areas of social engagement.
While one is not oblivious of the arguments of some school of thought about the planned protest being political, as a form of payback by people and interests who feel short changed by the 2015 electoral loss of their benefactor, party and interest, it is important to reiterate that one of the basic tenets of democracy which we must hold very dearly to heart in words and action, is that while the majority will have their way, the minority must have their say and if this protest is a means for the minority to have their say, let no one deny them after all, it will be uncharitable to beat a child and deny him the right to cry.
One can only admonish Tuface Idibia and his group that in exercising their fundamental right to protest, they must also respect the rights of other citizens who are not on the same page with them, by being peaceful, civilized and orderly because the right to protest is a natural and fundamental right which must not be infringed upon.
Here’s wishing the protesters, a peaceful and successful protest.
Nelson Ekujumi wrote this piece from Lagos