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Naira Marley’s Concert Raises Questions For Govt



By Ayodele Oluwafemi

Sharp criticisms have continued to trail the music performance of controversial Nigerian musician, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley in Abuja, on Saturday, despite the restrictions, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The concert tagged as a “drive-in concert” was held at Jabi Lake Mall Car Park, Abuja, on Saturday.

Based on the nomenclature of the concert, attendees were meant to stay in their cars and enjoy the music rendition of artistes.

However, that was not the situation in the Abuja drive-in concert as attendees defiled the social distancing order stipulated by Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The event was organized by Play Network Africa, Traffic Bar, El’Carnival and sponsored by Glenfiddich.

As seen in the publicity materials met for the event, tickets were sold at the prices range of N20,000, N40,000, N50,000, N200,000 and N250,000.

In trending videos, attendees were seen dancing, with flagrant disregard for the social distancing order, to witness the music performance of Naira Marley.

In another video, Naira Marley, former Big Brother Naija house mate, Kim Oprah and some persons were seen alighting from a plane, despite the ban on air travels and interstate movement.

The development has set tongue wagging on the social media.

This is not the first time, Naira Marley is enmeshed in lockdown controversy. In April, Naira Marley was arrested for flouting lockdown order, alongside Babatunde Gbadamosi for attending a house party birthday celebration of Funke Akindele’s husband, Abdulrasheed Bello aka JJC Skillz, at Amen Estate, Lagos.

The trending videos of the Abuja concert have raised talking points on issues concerning the compliance to the COVID-19 lockdown rules, on the microblogging platform, Twitter.

First, despite the restriction on aircraft travels, Naira Marley and Kim Oprah were seen alighting from a plane.

Second, despite the interstate travels restriction, Naira Marley who resides in Lagos, found his way to Abuja for the concert.

A development that set tongues wagging on the enforcement of interstate travels.

Third, some state governors have reportedly travelled outside their states for non-essential duties, especially on political functions to other states. Hence, what is the moral justification for the Federal Government to sanction Naira Marley, if others are not punished?

Fourth, amidst the increasing figures of COVID-19 cases in the country, there is high state of doubt in the minds of many Nigerians on the authenticity of the deadly virus in the country. And this is playing out in the disregard for the preventive measure stipulated by NCDC by many Nigerians.

GWG gathered the following tweets:

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