Rita Okoye, Lagos
Emerging Nigerian music star Olorunsogo Michael Oni, aka Musicbysire, has added his voice to the outrage of angry youths currently protesting police brutality in Nigeria.
Speaking from his base in the United States, he avowed that no Nigerian is spared from police brutality, recounting his brush with rogue cops before his relocation out of the country.
‘I had experienced police brutality and harassment since I was a kid when riding with my parents in the car. I witnessed how they were coerced to bribe policemen before we would be allowed passage,’ the musician recalled.
‘There was even a time someone hired police officers to shoot my dad.’
He continued: ‘Growing up and using an iPhone, I was stopped on four different occasions by policemen who wanted to know how I was able to buy an iPhone 6 at the time. In the long run, they left me alone since I passed through that road most of the time. We even became familiar to the point that we exchanged pleasantries, but the truce came at a price after I had exercised my right and was slapped by one of the officers who tried to unlawfully arrest me for not unlocking my phone for him.’
The talented vocalist said that Nigeria is a ‘dream killer’.
According to him: “Moving here (America) is because Nigeria as a country is a dream killer. There are lots of talented youths out there but the bad government, entangled with tribalism, nepotism, favoritism, sidelines people with the capacity to make things work. After 4 years of studying political science at National Open university, I left the country. Our own brand of racism is tribalism and it has divided us as a people’
Sharing what he misses about living in Nigeria, the crooner declared: ‘Truth be told, I miss visiting my favourite Suya spot, combining bread and akara. I also miss eating gala and Lacasera. It’s the food for me basically.’