Fans mourning Afrobeats star MohBad have been teargassed in the Nigerian city of Lagos as police said they were blocking traffic on a major highway.
They had congregated at the city’s Lekki toll gate after a memorial concert for the 27-year-old singer, who died last week in a hospital in Lagos.
There has been an outpouring of grief for the musician and demands for the cause of his death to be made public.
The Lagos authorities have now exhumed his body as part of an investigation.
The concert to pay tribute to MohBad, whose real name was Ilerioluwa Aloba, was held in a park on Lagos’s Victoria Island on Thursday evening.
Many of the mourners wore white T-shirts and held candles or their mobile phone torches aloft as they danced to the songs of the late artist, loved for his streetwise, sometimes lewd, lyrics and distinctive baritone voice.
Music stars like Davido, Falz and Zlatan along with Nollywood movie celebrities shared their memories of the singer with the audience.
The hashtag #justiceformohbad has been trending on social media since MohBad’s death – some angered by suggestions he had faced bullying within the music industry since his fallout last year with Marlian Records, a record label owned by musician Naira Marley.
Protests have been held in cities across southern Nigeria, with his fans wanting to know how he died – prompting the Lagos state governor to open an inquiry involving the country’s secret police.
After the emotional memorial concert in Lagos, the mourners marched towards the Lekki toll gate to continue their vigil.
For many, their dispersal with teargas brought flashbacks of the notorious incident in October 2020 when armed forces shot and killed protesters at the same place. An inquiry found nine people had been killed, four were missing presumed dead and 35 others injured – many with gunshot wounds.
At that time tens of thousands of Nigerians had been protesting across the country calling for the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) police unit to be disbanded – a movement that became known as #EndSars.
After the teargassing of the MohBad fans, the Lagos police have been quick to dismiss any comparison, saying mourners ignored advice that the area around the Lekki-Epe Expressway was off-limits.
Appeals over several hours by officers and the vigil organisers for people to disperse were ignored, police spokesman Benjamin Hundeyin said in a series of tweets.
“At this point, all lanes in and out of Lekki had been totally blocked. Vehicular movement on the ever-busy expressway had been brought to a total standstill,” he said.
“Not a single live ammunition was fired. The police adopted crowd management best practices in engaging the unruly crowd. No life was lost neither was there any injury.”
Earlier, the police spokesman had tweeted that the autopsy on MohBad had been concluded.
But officials say it may be several weeks before the autopsy report is ready.
DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.
- President Commissions 36.5 Million Dollars Hospital In The Tain District
- You Will Not Go Free For Killing An Hard Working MP – Akufo-Addo To MP’s Killer
- I Will Lead You To Victory – Ato Forson Assures NDC Supporters