Ever since popular singer 2baba announced plans to lead a nationwide protest on February 5 (now February 6), he has faced criticism from lots of corners - from unknowns to former close friends, fellow celebrities and of course, the federal government.
When 2baba decided to not just speak up about the deteriorating state of Nigeria's economy/poor governance but also lead a protest, he probably anticipated the backlash.
Rather than focus on querying his reasons for the protest, many critics have however resorted to bashing his credibility as a protest leader, pulling out baffling nuggets like all the kids he had out of wedlock and the fact say "him no finish school."
All that is bladderdash. If you think you need a saint to lead you into a protest then you'd wait long. Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and of course, the much worshiped Fela were not saints by a long stretch. They were men who felt as citizens of their countries they needed to speak up against injustice- enter 2baba Idibia, a much-respected - yes, respected - citizen of Nigeria.
Here are four things the haters and detractors should ponder on while they grumble powerlessly.
1. Yes, 2baba has every right under the Nigerian Constitution to call for and lead a peaceful protest.
According to Chapter 40 of the Nigerian Constitution which lists the legal rights of Nigerian citizens, every Nigerian has the right to stage a peaceful protest. Yes, people, we have rights even though the same leaders who promulgated them always try to deny us them. So, unless 2baba has declared that he will be arriving the venues of his protest with guns blazing , I don't get the backlash from the police in Lagos.
The police has said the star does not have the capacity to control the crowd that will be at the protests. Like, what is their job? They were readily available and to a large extent did an efficient job at the 2012 subsidy protests. So what gives now?
2. Yes, he has a lot of children which is a good reason as any to protest the deteriorating economy.
Even when things were relatively stable, the average school fees was ridiculously over-priced. 2baba has seven children in three households. Whether the kids have other guardians or no, he most likely, as their father, contributes a large portion to their upkeep.
Have you priced gas recently? Or try to buy "common" noddles that used to go for N60? Let's not even talk about clothes, fuel for generator, hospital bills etc.
3. Yes, he is one of the most respected celebrity in Nigeria, woman-wrapper or not.
What's the use of having power if you can't use it for good. Like it or not, 2baba has a lot of followers on and offline who love, respect and actually look up to him as a role model. If any celebrity voice would successfully come out strongly in a fight for the people- yes, the cap fits just fine, 2baba.
He is respected among his peers too, scandals or no, because as many would testify, behind all that is a man of the people who has not let fame get to his head or infamy pull him down.
4. Yes, he has always being neutral on electoral issues.
2baba is one of the few celebrities who has never come out openly to use his platform to support one candidate or another at elections. Yes, he received all those gifts from David Mark and Godswill Akpabio during his wedding to Annie Idibia, but did you hear him campaign for them during , the last elections? Instead, he spearheaded a non-partisan project tagged Vote Not Fight. So to say his current agitation for civil action was motivated by one political party, governor or another is a long stretch.
The fact that the Federal Government is actually shaking in its boots because of a planned protest should say a lot to us. If you do not agree with 2baba or the fact that he is the one leading it, it's fine but please, don't be so daft as to make it about his personal life.