Charles Chukwuemeka Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, His Royal Punkness and Area Fada, is a former president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN). The singer/songwriter, television presenter and producer has been very vocal on national issues in recent times. In this interview with select journalists, he airs his views on the state of the nation, blaming the failings of the country on corrupt political leadership. He warns that until Nigerians begin to demand and insist on good governance, the situation would remain unchanged, saying the #OurMumuDondo movement, which he is championing, is a national clarion call on all Nigerians to stand and fight as politicians will not fight for them. Oputa, who has consistently spoken against the agitation for Biafra, maintains his position on the issue and urges his kinsmen to “pause on the fantasy tagged Biafra for now”. Excerpts:
You are getting more vocal on national issues these days. Why has it been so?
I am angry because I am a frustrated Nigerian. People like me, you and millions of Nigerians should be doing much better than we are doing presently if only we had an enabling environment. I was born in the early 50s when there was so much prospect in this country, when premium was placed on value, honesty, integrity and love for country.
My dear country has gone to the dogs. The Giant of Africa has become the laughing stock of the rest of the world. How did we get here? How and why did we allow this rot to consume a once upon a time beautiful country with so much prospect? Kai!
Where are the few good men and women who have decided to keep quiet in the face of this kind of evil? Imagine the frustration, the poverty, the joblessness, the hopelessness in a country that can offer its people so much more but have given nothing but pain, misery and so much disunity amongst its people. Yes, I’m angry.
My country, Nigeria is terminally ill from decades of misrule, impunity by vile sorcerers, ignorant drunken politicians, terrorists in agbada brutalising the poor masses, and riff-raffs who are prepared to drag the nation down into the poo pit. Yes, I am mad as hell; na like dis we go dey go?
Now, I hear sounds of very irresponsible and provocative utterances filling the air, burning with hate messages. The social media is filled with ultimatums, datelines and fake news propagating the Old Testament message of an eye for an eye that will soon leave all of us blind. I am mad and angry with all these.
Is that why you are championing the #OurMumuDonDo campaign?
You see, there comes a time in the history of a suffering people when the status quo that has eternally failed can no longer be sustained; when the hungry, angry, vexed, and frustrated are bonded in a coalition to reclaim a country seeking a new direction and a new path; when political leadership has failed from generation to generation, as is the case with Nigeria, and the docility of the populace is almost a norm; the emancipation of the mind from mental slavery becomes an eternal battle for which fighting becomes godly.
#OurMumuDonDo is a national clarion call on all Nigerians to stand and fight, because no politician will fight for the interest of the Nigerian people; it is impossible. It is a call to engage, to protest and occupy all arms of government until good governance is seen and felt by the people. It is a call to re-awaken the Spartan of the Labour union of old in the youths. This is a call driven by nationalism and Nigerianisation. #OurMumuDonDo is a movement of the people by the people for the people. This is a genuine democratic and nationalistic movement.
When you talk about the angry, vexed and frustrated, it sounds as if you are advocating a violent revolution?
No, not in anyway. However, when the people are tired of political exploitation, a nation is re-awakened. When politicians continue in the path of reckless criminality, a mob is encouraged. And it is because of this anger and frustration in the atmosphere that we have decided to rein in, coordinate and channel our anger towards our common enemy under the aegis of the Justice Oputa Foundation.
Why the Justice Oputa Foundation?
Why not? Because the late Justice Chukwudifu Oputa bequeathed a legacy of incorruptibility to this nation; it’s on record. And that legacy and value, today, is extremely scarce. So, what better way to champion an honest cause for emancipation?
You attended one of the court sittings in Nnamdi Kanu’s case probably in a show of solidarity. But after he was granted bail, he has refused to back down on the agitation for Biafra. Do you still support his cause?
For whatever reason, no man deserves to be ill treated in his fatherland as Nnamdi Kanu was treated. Hence, my involvement in the call for his release at the time. I am for equal rights and justice, period. Advocating for the okada community doesn’t make me an okada rider. Advocating for gay rights doesn’t make me gay. So, agitating for Nnamdi’s release doesn’t make me a Biafran supporter. Biafra for me is a mindset. If there were no great injustice in the land, there would be no call for Biafra. So, don’t get it twisted.
Sometime in January 2017, I wrote about my thoughts on the Biafra agitation and how I do not consider it a feasible adventure especially when there are so many important things my Igbo kinsmen can alternatively dedicate their all to. I titled the article “The illusion called Biafra”. Those who haven’t read it should read it up because what I wrote therein will always be my stance on Biafra.
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