A 24-year-old lady from Kano State, Murja Ibrahim Kunya, popularly known as Murja Kunya, has recently sparked heated controversy on social media after she was arrested by the police in Kano over indecent behaviour and use of vulgar language on social media, particularly TikTok.
Murja had garnered followers on TikTok for being exceptionally outspoken in the Hausa language in a manner many of her Hausa-speaking northern Nigerian audience considered funny and entertaining.
As a way of taking further her skills and making better use of her TikTok following that at a point reached one million followers, she began comedy skits.
She would also later be seen appearing on short music videos alongside another artiste, Mr 442.
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However, in September 2022, a Sharia Court in Kano wrote to the state’s Commissioner of Police to arrest and investigate Murja alongside other TikTokers over complaints from a group of Islamic clerics for “corrupting the morals of the society.”
Other TikTokers included in the letter were Mr 442, Safara’u, Dan Maraya, Amude Booth, Kawu Dan Sarki, Ado Gwanja, Ummi Shakira, Samha Inuwa and Babiana.
Shortly after the news demanding their arrest broke, there were mixed reactions across social media platforms with many supporting it, while others described it as an impediment to “artistic freedom and creativity.”
On Sunday, January 29, she was arrested at Tahir Hotel in Kano while booking rooms for her guests ahead of her birthday party.
While admitting to have been controversial and outspoken on the social media, Murja blamed some of her alleged excesses on emotions she couldn’t control.
Speaking to the police, she said there was a particular clip where she was seen abusing Nigerian leaders which was a result of her frustration with a viral video released last year, where a group of terrorists were seen beating up captives of the Kaduna-Abuja train attack.
On the allegation of mimicking immoral songs, she attributed her conduct to musicians like the popular Ado Gwanja, who made such requests from her as a way of promoting their songs on social media.
She also expressed regret over her arrest, pledging to stop her “immoral actions” and avoid being a “negative example” to others, especially young people.
She also urged other social media users to avoid provoking her and stop the consistent casting of aspersions on her.
The popular Tiktoker further said she had already regretted her actions following the death of her colleague from Kano, Abdul Aboki, some weeks ago.
She said, “Since the death of our friend, Kamalu Aboki, I started thinking on how to stop all these. The first thing is, I no longer abuse anybody now.
“I know it is about my videos that contain dances and others that contain some abuses. For abusing people, I have stopped, God willing.
“For the videos, I am just dancing and I didn’t ask anybody to copy me, but I am always praying to stop these all. I regret my actions.”
Meanwhile, the police spokesperson in Kano said the Commissioner of Police, Mamman Dauda, had directed that she be taken to a psychiatric hospital to check her mental health after which investigations would continue.
However, shortly after her arrest, there have been controversies across social media platforms, especially TikTok, Twitter and Facebook, with many people calling for her immediate release using the hashtag #FreeMurjaKunya.
On the other hand, some people demanded that she should be punished for what she had been doing in the past.