The entertainment world and Nigeria at large, were recently thrown into mourning following the death of a rising music star, Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba (Imole), otherwise known as Mohbad.
The 27-year-old died on Monday, September 12, under circumstances that have continued to generate intense controversy as allegations of culpability loom large.
His death had stirred reactions as Nigerians allege that his former boss, Marlian Record Label’s owner, Afeez Fashola, also known as Naira Marley and music promoter, Sam Larry may have some questions to answer.
They have both said they were innocent, and actually joined in the call for thorough investigation and due justice. Also, there have been allegations and counter-allegations from relatives over Mohbad’s estate.
Nigerians queried why he was buried at Ikorodu in Lagos a day after he died but his father provided an explanation, saying that the family followed Yoruba custom.
This prompted Nigerians to call for justice, while others have taken to the streets in Lagos, Ogun, Delta and other parts of the country, urging the police to fish out his killers, with a candlelight procession and concert in his honour held in Lekki, Lagos.
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had vowed to probe his death and also asked the Department of State Services, (DSS), to join in the investigation. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kayode Egbetokun, has already ordered a forensic investigation to unravel the cause of death.
Following the IGP’s directive, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Idowu Owohunwa, formed a 10-man team, including a pathologist to exhume and examine the decomposing body so as to establish the cause of death.
But it is very easy to read the life the 27- year- old lived before he died, including frustrations he faced that led him into drugs and other vices.
In almost all his songs, Mohbad told the story of his life, about family abandonment and struggles he went through, including telling the authorities of those planning to kill him.
In one of his songs, Mohbad said he knew his exit was close but that until then, he would be blasting his music and ‘smoking it away.’
While we lend our voice to the call on the Police not to relent in its efforts to unravel the circumstances that cut short the life of Mohbad in its prime, we appeal that every evidence, no matter how minute, must be followed conclusively wherever it leads.
Again, we insist that the investigation ought not to end up on the shelf of the security agencies. Those found culpable must be made to face the wrath of the law.
As a newspaper, we are not ignorant of the culture of violence and thuggery that permeates the music industry all over the world, and Nigeria is no exception
There have been talks that the late singer was threatened, and harassed at various times in his life. We are, by no means, pointing accusing fingers at anyone. We are, on the contrary, suggesting that no lead must be left unexplored.
The craze for materialism and fame has driven many a youth to a frenzy and they do not care what they do in the process to achieve their inordinate ambition.
Recently, superstar Nigerian music entertainer, Flavour, revealed that many young artists tell him bluntly they are ready to do anything, sacrifice whatever, even join cult groups in order to reach stardom.
The singer expressed shock at the level of desperation among young Nigerians, adding that he never followed such ignoble part on his way up.
However, this particular situation is as a result of presumed frustration and various anti- social behaviours such as youth restiveness, prostitution, robbery. kidnapping, and other social ills resulting from joblessness. This, in our view, is a fallout from the succeed- at-all-cost syndrome afflicting most Nigerians.
This worrying situation became glaringly evident during the past eight years of the last administration,which had made life life short and brutish in the Nigeria.
While many youths are rising to the challenge of making lemonade out of the chaotic lime situation they found themselves in life, like the late Mohbad, many are still on the road to perdition.
As a tribute to the late singer, this newspaper urges parents to be more alive to their responsibilities and inculcate in their wards good moral orientation.
On their own part, the youths owe themselves a duty to rein in their get-rich-quick mentality. In our considered opinion, hard work and perseverance are some of the pathways to success.