Naira Marley, a controversial Nigerian singer, has come under fierce criticism for holding a concert in Abuja, despite the increase in COVID-19 cases in the country.
The federal government had recommended that social gatherings involve not more than 20 people while also banning all events in a directive that is to be reviewed as it eases the lockdown.
Marley, who held an e-concert in May in compliance with government’s measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, would organise a “drive-in concert” on Saturday at the Jabi Lake Mall, alongside Kim Oprah, a former housemate of BBNaija reality show.
The two celebrities were also said to have travelled from Lagos to Abuja in a private jet, despite the ban on interstate movement and flights.
It was, however, gathered that the concert failed to conform to the planned arrangement as showgoers turned up en mass, with many others violating physical distancing.
In April, Naira Marley was detained alongside Funke Akindele, a Nollywood actress, after the latter hosted a house party that the former attended, despite Lagos’ lockdown measures at the time.
Quite a number of Nigerians have since taken to social media platforms to register their different takes on the latest development.
While some users condemned the singer’s action, others jumped to his defense while also blaming the fans who violated the social distance directives.
“Somebody approved the Naira Marley concert 2. Somebody approved the non-essential flight to Abuja,” Joe Abah, a public sector reformer, wrote in a seeming irate tweet on Sunday.
“Somebody approved a bottle of hard liquor per ticket 4. Somebody didn’t stop the concert when it lost control 6. Somebody should be sacked this morning. If somebody is serious.”
1. Somebody approved the Naira Marley concert
2. Somebody approved the non-essential flight to Abuja
3. Somebody approved a bottle of hard liquor per ticket
4. Somebody didn’t stop the concert when it lost control
6. Somebody should be sacked this morning…if somebody is serious
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) June 14, 2020
Here are randomly selected tweets portraying the opinions of Nigerians:
The government probably approved the Naira Marley concert because they had found a secret vaccine to stop the spread of this virus. I hope it’s enough to go round, though.
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) June 14, 2020
How did Naira Marley get to Abuja? I thought non-essential travels were banned?
Who organised the show?
Who sold tickets?
Questions, Questions, Questions???
This is so nonchalant and unpatriotic. @PoliceNG @NigeriaGov https://t.co/Rsr4qV2sfXAdvertisement
— 𝕭𝖆𝖇𝖆𝖏𝖎𝖉𝖊 (@babajideoyewoga) June 14, 2020
Since Naira Marley held a concert yesterday in Jabi Lake mall, Abuja?!
He landed at the airport in a lockdown??
Why is the Federal government still doing restrictions again?? Pls can they just open up everything and let’s continue our normal life.. what’s the essence?!
— 💀 (@SheunDam) June 14, 2020
And to be fair
Naira Marley is not the main problem.
Despite increase of Covid19,
Over 500cases every night now;
We have opened churches & mosques,
Ganduje has opened football centres,
See we are a mad country.
However you look at it.
Let’s open everywhere.
Whoever dies, dies.
— #OurFavOnlineDoc 🛂 (@DrOlufunmilayo) June 14, 2020
Arrest Naira Marley and the organizers of the Jabi Lake concert now. This insensitivity cannot be overlooked.
— Comrade Deji Adeyanju (@adeyanjudeji) June 14, 2020
Naira Marley did it first with Funke Akindele. Sincere there was no stringent punishment for that I know he'll repeat it, and voilà he did it again in Abuja overnight.
Lawless citizens, lawless govt, lawless nation.
— AyeMojubar (@ayemojubar) June 14, 2020
Private Jet is not on Locked down. Naira Marley has super powers https://t.co/QAyfwuKf5M
— Dr PamPam | Omo Iya Ologi (@UnclePamilerin) June 14, 2020
Naira Marley reached Abuja with the interstate travel ban and he still do concert. There are presidents and there are PRESIDENTS
— Omo kiikan 💙 (@OmoKiikan) June 14, 2020
Most of you have resumed work. Some of you goto the market daily.
Some of you are tweeting from church but you’re bashing Naira Marley for performing in a show he was paid to attend.
You all forget that artists need money too just like you all do!! 😒
— 𝗕𝗔𝗗𝗠𝗔𝗡 ⚔️ (@_chukkysmiles) June 14, 2020
The number of people at the concert Naira Marley performed in shows that a lot of people don't believe Coronavirus is in Nigeria. Both the federal government and NCDC have not done enough to prove otherwise.
— SECRETARY♠️ACE™ (@SecretaryAce) June 14, 2020
Dat Naira Marley concert was planned as a drive in concert,stay in ur car and b enjoying d live show,we can't blame @officialnairam1 for d crimes of those who violated d rules…he ought to call police on dem,they wanna tarnish him…so y is he d criminal?
— Beeboo (@BelloAbeebAbio1) June 14, 2020
The Naira Marley Concert at Jabi Lake Mall Car Park was meant to be a drive in concert. They seemed to have it under control until Naira Marley came on stage. Marlians 🤦🏽♂️ pic.twitter.com/cQbmKC6v8Q
— Mohammed Jammal (@whitenigerian) June 14, 2020
You dragging Naira Marley ? …. This was the United States last week. No social distancing, no regard for health guidelines given to manage the pandemic.
Yet, they've not recorded any significant increase in death or COVID19 cases…. pic.twitter.com/APDknYoldA
— EmmyOfLagos 🗽🗽🗽🇳🇬 (@emmyoflagos) June 14, 2020
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