+ Why I am attacking OBJ
POPULAR rapper, Eedris Abdulkareem has just released a hit single, Godfather Godson, with which he threw jibes at former President Olusegun Obasanjo over his recent attack on President Goodluck Jonathan. According to the talented singer cum social crusader, the latter is the godson of the former, and shouldn’t be distracted by his godfather in the discharge of his duties as president of Nigeria. The new single is also a boost to Eedris’ new initiative, I am Nigeria, formed specifically to empower the youths and fight injustice.
However, speculations are rife that the Kano born musician couldn’t have been doing everything alone without the support of the powers that be. This he denied when ENCOMIUM Weekly had a phone interview with him on Friday, February 28, 2014.
Godfather Godson is a single off a 16-track album that will be released later this year on a La Cream music label. The video was directed by Might. As a keen observer of Nigerian politics, this single is not just to entertain but a satire. But more importantly, to make Nigerians see beyond what is playing out on the Nigeria political terrain. It’s a wake-up call.
Are you a partisan politician or social crusader as you always claim?
I am not a politician. I don’t belong to any political party. Everybody knows I am a singer and social crusader. I am a Nigerian that has a right and a say on who leads and how to be led. In my opinion, godson is being distracted by godfather after he decided not to continue serving him but Nigerians. I am using the album to call on Nigerians to speak up and stand for what they believe and not be confused by the propaganda they are throwing up against this administration led by President Goodluck Jonathan. The new single, Godfather Godson was released to drive my new project, I am Nigeria, which I am into at the moment.
Does it mean President Jonathan is aware of this project or is the one bankrolling it?
I have never met Jonathan, I am only impressed by the lots he has achieved so far. That’s why I am standing up for what I believe. And I am sure I am not alone about this. I am Nigeria is just a clarion call to all not to sit on the fence and allow political gladiators and rabble rousers to confuse and mislead them. This is an initiative to bring Nigerian youths together to speak with one voice for what they believe in. It is conceptaulised to help address the needs and aspirations of the Nigerian youths within and outside Nigeria. With this platform, we hope to challenge public officials and institutions that are performing below expectation. When there are employment opportunities and empowerment, we will through this platform push qualified members of I am Nigeria forward. It’s open to all youths out there that also mean well for the nation.
We hope to raise a trust fund with which to help touch the lives of Nigerian youths and discourage them from being used as thugs, arsonists and assassins by ill-fated politicians. We are already leaders but we will ensure that we come together since we as youths outnumber the old to take over the reins of power and move Nigeria forward, and make it become the true giant of Africa.
Who is the face of I am Nigeria?
We made a seven-year old girl, Eliena Melekwe the ambassador of I am Nigeria because children are indeed the future leaders. We are fighting now to halt the trend that keeps suppressing the youths and making them followers. Enough is enough, it’s time for the youths to lead. Eliena Melekwe, the face of I am Nigeria project was expelled from Blooms Academy, Abuja, because she adorned green and white beads on her hair. We are ready to stand up for her and fight the injustice meted to her.
With all your explanations on what gave birth to I am Nigeria and what it stands for, it will be very difficult for the people out there to believe that President Jonathan has not paid you because the project appears pro-Jonathan and anti-Obasanjo in content, especially with the release of Godfather Godson to back it up. What’s your reaction to this?
I have said it before, and I am saying it again that I have never met Jonathan. I am a social crusader, not just an entertainer. I am singing it because of Obasanjo’s hypocrisy. He always accuses Jonathan. After all, he has done worse than what Jonathan is doing. I am saying he should just let the guy be. He shouldn’t distract him with his long essays. Nobody gave me money. I am doing that which I believe in. It’s in the best interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.
But being involved in this kind of project is like you just want to create an alternative means of livelihood to complement your career which appears dwindling?
That’s not true. My career is much on course, my brother. If my career is off course, Glo will not give me 43 shows. I won’t be playing many shows in Europe, I won’t be invited to key events and even get awards. Alhamdulillah! I am grateful for what Allah has blessed me with. My life goes beyond the physical elements. I also don’t go on twitter and Facebook to announce all my moves. My new album will drop soon, and I will want you to ask this question again then. God has been so merciful to me.
But some people are saying maybe you’re seeking Jonathan’s attention if your claim that you haven’t been paid is true. How would you also react to this?
Jonathan’s attention? For what? I criticized the man in January 2012, when he increased the pump price of fuel. Was I seeking his attention then also? People only like to interpret any situation to suit their insinuation.
You said Jonathan has done a lot, and should be allowed to continue. Can you highlight some of his outstanding successes since he became the president?
Without beating about the bush, look at the turnaround in agriculture, transformation of our local and international airports, stability of the naira, road projects and so on. For instance, take a look at what Jonathan has done on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The power project is also on a steady course and more. Left to me, the man is trying.
I am Nigeria seems bigger than you, who are the people behind it if not Jonathan as you said?
There is no powerful person anywhere. What’s driving this project is a powerful vision to touch and impact lives. Yes, it is bigger than me but we need to get it running before we can get people with like minds to lift it and touch lives. And don’t forget, I am also the founder of the Eedris Abdulkareem Foundation, a fund raiser non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS in sub-Sahara Africa, in conjunction with the Pat Utomi Foundation.
How often do you get shows this time around? Then, how will you be juggling career and I am Nigeria if you’re that busy as you claimed?
My brother, do you want to see my itinerary? If you want, I will show you. I get shows, and that’s what matters. I have always been managing my time well, this project only becomes an additional responsibility. Don’t forget, it is not just about me alone, we have a team of committed members. So, I can delegate duties when the need arises.