Mr. Lecturer and Nigeria Jagajaga, two songs by Eedris Abdulkareem remain classics that can rival other social critical melodies in Nigeria.
But time is brutal. What happened to Eedris Abdulkareem? What happened to the guy that stood up to renowned American rapper, 50 Cents? It is the same thing that happened to Charlie Boy, Omoyele Sowere and several others.
Activism has become nothing more than ‘hustling’ and with the right amount of money; you can literally buy over any activist in Nigeria. I mean, any.
Oh, very rude of me. Here is a rundown of the latest gist that trended on Twitter recently. Eedris Abdulakreem had released Jagajaga Reloaded, a re-make of his critical song, with a couple of missives against ex-activist, Festus Keyamo.
ALSO READ: Jagajaga Reloaded: The reality of the Keyamo, Eedris Abdulkareem beef – Abiodun Kuforiji-Nkwocha
However, the Warri-born Minister came out gun-slinging with receipts of Eedris Abdulkareem practically in full bambi Allah mode. As someone who listened to him as some sort of social crusader, it was really embarrassing and infuriating. The text messages from the Mr. Lecturer crooner were heart-breaking.
Musicians with fading careers are turning to either activism or politics to revive their careers. However, the results have been mixed. Desmond Elliott has moved from the darling of the people to arguably the most vilified; while many others who have taken the path of activism are coming out stained.
Charlie Boy had his name taken through the mud, and now Eedris Abdulkareem. Coincidentally, Keyamo, an ex-activist, has been involved in both.
The danger is that most people see activism as a hustle, a similar mind-set with the politicians they are criticising. Regardless of the feeble explanation by Eedris, racking up a N1.3million hotel bills on credit and asking a Minister to help you to clear the bills does not make you an activist, but a shameless beggar. That makes you a part of the problem.
For them, when the dysfunction in the polity favours them, it is a connection. When it is not, it is corruption. This is nothing new.
To those condemning the Minister for bringing out receipts, you are nothing but shameless hypocrites. Journalists are corrupt. Activists are hustlers. Religious leaders are after private jets. Lecturers see young girls as hardship allowance. Then the problem is not just politicians. We are all thieves.
Nigeria is a product of all these people and sadly, we cannot run away from this reality. Unfortunately, we are all thieves, all waiting for an opportunity to get access.
We do not need full-time activists. How can you fight for people when you have not eaten? How can you be the voice of the people when you can’t speak for yourself? Even Mandela had a promising practice as a lawyer. Martin Luther King Jr. did not drop his daytime job as a clergy.
Activism as a hustle will not change anything, just a front for professional jobbers.