Until he died under mysterious circumstances, the majority of older Nigerians probably have never heard of Illerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, a young Nigerian rapper, singer and songwriter, whose stage name was MohBad. The young man predicted his death after the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), for reasons best known to themselves, sided with his traducers. On June 27, 2023, he filed a petition captioned: “Petition of threat to life, malicious damage of properties valued at five-million naira, assault occasioning harm, oppression and conduct likely to cause breach of peace”, against Sam Larry and Oba Elegushi of Eti-Osa, Lagos State, both of whom have unsavoury public reputations. MohBad and his former employer, Azee Adeshina Fashola, known professionally as Naira Marley, of Marlian Music, were feuding over alleged wrongfully withheld unpaid royalties. Not only had MohBad severally privately expressed concerns and fear over threats to his life, but he publicly stated that Naira Marley should be held responsible if he died in suspicious circumstances. He poured out his fear, anger and frustration in his lyrics to no avail. Regrettably, the majority of young Nigerian artistes are enamoured with a brand of digital “music” based upon an unsavoury mix of lewd lyrics debasing women and glorifying drugs, partying, suspected wealth and materialism. Long gone are the love songs or social commentaries of yesterday. They are mostly regarded as cultists and ritualists by un-African tattoos, fondness for drug-taking and the regular loss of life in their families and friends. Previous superstars of Nigerian music sang about love or social commentaries. Today’s superstars are refugees relocating from overseas and bringing detrimental American gangster mentality into Nigeria. Most of them have no depth to their lyrics and simply promote drugs and social vices. In particular, Naira Marley’s brand of music is based on drugs, partying and women. His songs glorify gangsterism with statements such as “put your main man in a box”! While his social media video posts regularly show him consuming drugs and displaying illegal weapons. It was nothing short of an outrage that such a person was chosen by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to be one of their “ambassadors” despite his lewd songs not being massively popular. The source of his wealth is suspect because he doesn’t routinely spend most of his time making foreign exchange from performing in well-attended overseas concerts. Unfortunately, in trying to determine responsibility for MohBad’s death, the spotlight should first be directed towards his family. The words and actions of his father are controversial, to say the least. His support for those who his son referred to as enemies who did not wish him well is unfathomable. Also of concern is that the Baale of Ikorodu, who doubles as Chairman of the Landlords Association, said MohBad’s father wanted to hurriedly bury his son in the middle of the night but that he declined to give him the necessary permission! His haste in disputing the conspiracy theories surrounding his son’s death and presenting his own contrived alternative explanation despite no autopsy report or death certificate stating the cause of death was as unbefitting as the rushed burial and undersized coffin; which is an insult to any corpse. In addition to an autopsy report, the police investigation must provide answers to the following: why was the young man afraid to return to the police station after lodging his complaint? Was he attacked before or after lodging his complaint? Why was he injected by an unqualified nurse with no doctor present? What complaint and suggested treatment was written on his hospital card? If he was not wounded, why was he given anti-tetanus injection in the first place? Why was he rushed out of the hospital only to be declared dead inside a car on social media? Who were the people who hid their faces while declaring him dead? Where exactly was the car located? Why the rush to bury the young man at night and prevent an autopsy?
After the police have found out the truth about those who were directly responsible, society must reflect on its own responsibility. The growth of cultism among the youths is a reflection of irresponsibility among the political class whose “cabals” are in effect cultists! It is they who have turned youths towards gangsterism, cultism and crime by presiding over a failed educational system in which the majority of Nigerian youths leave secondary school with worthless results. Even the few who do proceed to higher education end up graduating from substandard universities or polytechnics with no modern knowledge and no marketable employment skills. It is they who live undeservedly ostentatious lifestyles, giving the impression that wealth without commensurate work is acceptable and indeed admirable. It is they who fail to prevent Nollywood from continuously releasing films portraying drug dealers and fraudsters as people to be admired. It is they who have looted the treasury to the extent that the only paths to prosperity open to young Nigerians is to get out of the country or engage in criminal or cult-related activities.
Charlatans occupying political office don’t possess the intellectual capacity to conceptualise solutions to the problems of youths. On a daily basis our youths are either killing themselves for cult-related problems or are being arrested for kidnapping, fraud, armed robbery and cultism.
Regrettably, the nation should expect more dead youths as victims of a failed society.