‘The message of the video is wrong’-agency’s spokesperson, MITCHELL OFOYEJU
‘Davido is not into drugs nor was he showcasing drug trafficking’ -Davido’s manager, KAMAL AJIBOYE
Videos in contemporary music are powerful tools for communication, more so when it is that of a popular crooner.
Little wonder a lot of dust has been raised since superstar singer and Babcock University graduate, Davido released the visuals for his hit, Fans Mi which features American rapper, Meek Mill in June 2015.
In the video, Omo Baba Olowo (as he prefers to call himself) was seen exchanging a briefcase containing a white powdery substance with another stashed with cash.
The National Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), charged with checkmating drug use, abuse and trafficking, has reacted to it and has launched an investigation.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s MICHAEL NWOKIKE spoke with the agency’s head of public affairs, Mitchell Ofoyeju. He explained the action of the body in this interview….
Yes. The attention of the agency was drawn to the video, and having looked at it, we considered it inappropriate for public viewing. And this is because it was actually advertising drug trafficking. In that video, he exchanged a briefcase supposedly containing narcotics with that of dollars; he also had a rifle on the table. He portrayed a life of affluence. The implication is that he is trying to make people believe that when you engage in drug trafficking, you can live an affluent life. And that is what we disagree with. Nothing would have been wrong with that video if after exchanging the drugs with the money he was arrested and imprisoned. It would have been a perfect message in the eyes of any responsible government. But for him to have ended with exchange of drugs for money is what we disagree with. I think members of the public should condemn it in strong terms.
How can you ascertain what was exchanged was actually drugs by just watching the video?
It is not about what was exchanged, it’s the message behind it. If you look at that video, that is a typical drug trafficking scene. Those parcels represent narcotics, so it is immaterial whether they were actual narcotics or they were fake. The message itself is wrong. We are saying that the public should condemn it and that any reputable organization that has anything to do with him should also condemn and severe ties with him. This would serve as a warning to others that beside the legal consequence, if you do something like this, you should be stripped of any contract you have entered with any institution or organization. We must put these things in proper perspective. For instance, the United Nations (UN) was considering short listing him for an Ambassador of Peace, I can bet you that the video alone has disqualified him. So, we are looking at the issue holistically. Every artiste or celebrity must reposition themselves in a way that they could be seen as responsible people who any national or international body can work with. That is the message.
What’s the penalty for the offence?
Legally, he risks 15 years imprisonment. The NDLEA Act section 14 (sub section A) states that anyone who incites, promises or induces any other person by any means whatsoever to commit any of the offences under the NDLEA Act is liable. So, if you take it contextually, there are legal implications.