Controversial singer, Habeeb Okikiola, aka Portable, has often been in the news, mostly for the wrong reasons due to his antics one and off the stage. Because of his controversial comments, he has been invited for questioning by the police on different occasions.
However, it doesn’t seem like the singer has any plan to shy away from controversies. One of his latest songs titled, ‘Kuku do Ritual’, has been widely criticised for its negative message of acquiring wealth by all means, including doing money rituals. Considering the rising cases of ritual killings and other forms of moral decadence in the country, stakeholders in the industry have stated that the singer should be called to order.
Condemning the song, the Muslim Rights Concern, called on security agencies to investigate the song and the singer.
A statement released by the organisation read in part, “Popular pop singer, Habeeb Okikiola, has released a new album (sic) under (sic) the title, ‘Kuku Do Ritual’, in which part of the lyrics say, ‘Kuku do ritual. If you do ritual, you go die. If you no do ritual, you go die. Kuku do ritual’.
“We find this song disgusting, detestable and egregious. It is a brazen assault on Nigerian and African values. Portable’s latest song has reduced human life to the level of ordinary ants that can be stamped out under human feet without qualms and without consequences.
“This song has the capacity to influence our young ones in a negative manner. It is also capable of destroying the future of the youth. Something must be done urgently.”
Meanwhile, an entertainment lawyer, Femi Njoku, noted that though artistes should be allowed to express their creativity however they see fit, if music is inimical to societal growth and advancement, it is only proper for it to be regulated. He told our correspondent, “I am a big believer in not limiting the creative license of anybody, as long as whatever they are doing is not illegal.
“However, if the music promote vices that are inimical to societal growth and advancement, it is only right for a body that is in charge, like the NBC, to regulate the contents that are played on our airwaves. We are at a time when there is a high rate of ritual killings and other crimes that are definitely aided by certain things such as the music people listen to.”
On his part, a music enthusiast, Emmanuel Daraloye, stated that artistes needed to be careful about the message they passed in their music, especially because afrobeats is now enjoying global attention. He said, “As regards the negative message, I think Portable might just be speaking his truth, which is also the reality of many frustrated Nigerians. Art has never been created in a vacuum; it is always a reflection of the realities of the people. However, for the outside world, songs like this beam light on the situation of the country. A song like this could shape their view of the country, and they might become wary of Nigeria after listening to this song.”
However, the President of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, Pretty Okafor, noted that though the singer was a member of the association, it had no power to sanction any musician over their songs.