WEEKEND ARENA

Anger + Bigotry = Danladi Umar

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To ‘blow’ in the Nigerian entertainment industry means to arrive at the podium of stardom. It is a clear testament that every dog has its day and when its day comes, ‘blowing’ becomes inevitable. As you know, there is no straight formula to ‘blow’, and there is no timetable for it. It does not abide by any mathematical rule, where one plus one must be two. It comes when it is destined to come and could be triggered by the most mundane of things.

If you remember Little Success from Delta State who was sent home due to school fees and how someone just made a video designed to humiliate her, if you analyse the motive well, and how that changed her life afterwards, you will understand. If you also remember the flash-in-the-pan Mr. Spell, from Abia, who was clowning with the spelling of the simplest of words in 2017 and how he became popular you will know, when some people have spent millions of naira in the entertainment industry, hoping to blow, without success. Sometimes, attempts to ‘blow’ may require the push of others, and that is why in music, you would see a new musician, pairing with an established one for a duet or collabo.

I read that South African musician, Master KG , who shook the world with his song, Jerusalem, had been making underground attempts at ‘blowing’, but none got him to the required height until he featured Nomcebo, and the ‘blowing’ has been phenomenal. The song, Jerusalem is like the anthem of the continent today. His video has had the highest number of views in Africa and everyone is itching to collaborate with him. That is to ‘over-blow’, according to Comedian Elder O. Even our dear Burna Boy, whom three states-Lagos, Edo and Rivers- were dragging online the other day, had to remix Jerusalem too. Another good thing about ‘blowing’ is that it has no bus stop. It rotates like a fan. Today it is you, tomorrow, it may be me. That is how it flows.

Na turn by turn. So this week, it was the turn of Danladi Umar, Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT to ‘blow’. And just like the entertainers do, he featured the head of media and publicity at the CCT, Ibraheem Al-Hassan in the ‘album’ and the ‘blowing’ has been out of this world. In the past couple of days, the two have been the most talked about socio-political figures in the country and their video is doing very well on the charts much like Master KG’s. Now that is no mean feat if you understand the efforts Danladi Umar has made in the past to ‘blow’, without commensurate success.

I am sure the former Senate President, Bukola Saraki will admit that with all his influence as a former governor and Number 3 man in Naija, his feathers had never been ruffled by anyone the way Danladi Umar did, as he made repeated trips to the tribunal. While Saraki was a thorn in the flesh of the Buhari administration (or do we call it ‘regime’ like Punch?), Danladi Umar became a nail on his head. But all those did not give Umar the pecks to ‘blow’. Neither did his indictment of 6 governors, who were revealed to have acquired properties they could not explain. That was not where Danladi Umar’s creator kept his key to stardom.

The key as revealed this week is hidden in that naïve and poor security man at Banex Plaza in Abuja, who tried to deny him a parking space at the premises. Probably a fan of Anthony Joshua’s, Umar decided to do his kick-boxing display with the security man, and the cameras were rolling as the bouts were unfolding. And by the time it got to the ‘final destination’ of today’s generation, which is the social media, the Chairman could not help ‘blowing’. From YouTube, Twitter, Whatsapp to Facebook, everyone kept watching and sharing the blockbuster. Instantly, Wikipedia updated his page and guess what you will see there now:  ‘President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him to the position of the CCT chairman, regrettably he is currently a human rights violator.’

Entertainers usually depend on the media to consolidate their stardom and that exactly was what Al-Hassan, the head of media and publicity at the CCT did when he issued that famous press release that is fast turning to the ‘Press Release of the Year’. See grammar na …

There were so many mistakes that some journalists doubted it and had to ask correspondents in the judiciary beat, who confirmed it was real! But I do not blame Al-Hassan; he could have written in Fulani language and tried to Google-translate it into English for the ‘naughty press boys’ who refused to improve their Hausa-Fulani language skills. That was not as unfortunate as the ethnic profiling and bias displayed by the press statement, which heaped all the blames about the Chairman’s demeanour on Biafra. I weep that at Al-Hassan’s level, the only thing he finds plausible to justify a social ill was to mention Biafra. People with such faculties and their bosses, do not deserve a space in the bench and thankfully some lawyers are initiating actions in this direction. For ‘over-blowing’, Umar should be blown off…the bench.