LAGOS, OCTOBER 12, 2016 – Afrobeat musician Femi Kuti has blasted president Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership elite in the country for the continuous backwardness it has subjected Nigerians.The first son of the late Afrobeats legend Fela Kuti said this at the 8th edition of the symposium, The Fela Debates, as part of celebration of Felabration, the annual festival founded by his sister, Yeni Kuti, to honour their father, who died in August 1997. It started on Monday October 10 and will end on Sunday, October 16, with activities taking place in different parts of the world.
Speaking at the end of the debates with the topic, Movement Against Second Slavery, om Monday, Femi said Nigerians are agitating already and Felabration is about getting people to “think and find immediate solutions to changing our lives for the better and putting Africa on the world map where it should be and making it great.”
The musician said the leaders and elites are part of the country’s problem as he dismissed the railway recently inaugurated by presidentMuhammed Buhari as ‘inferior’ and ‘archaic.’
“When my father started speaking in 1971, 1972, I was between nine and 10,” said the 54 year old.
“See how time has gone and we’re not moving forward. We’re still moving backwards. And we’re still praising mediocracy, we’re still praising stupidity. And you know who is praising it? The elite encouraging it who are supposed to be educating their people would not tell their people that this is wrong. That’s why I used the example of the train. The elites go to America, go to Europe. They see the trains.
“And the president, Muhammadu, you know the president has travelled all over the world. For him to even come and be launching that kind of railway line is an insult. Let us face the facts.
And the elites, the Tinubus and everybody are praising him, that this is great job. What great job? We still cannot provide electricity for our people. This is electricity that we’ve been talking about since seventies.
And we’re in 2016. So the Debates is here to keep on enlightening us so we don’t forget. The revolution is how to awaken the consciousness to understand that the revolution has already begun.”
Femi also lamented the economic retrogression that has become the country’s bane even as history was not being taught in schools.
”Many Nigerians don’t even know that there is a time it was two dollars to one naira,” said Femi.
“It was N250 to travel to Europe or America at one time. It makes one want to cry.”
The event which held in NECA House, Ikeja, Lagos had speakers such as Lemi Ghariokwu, the artist who designed many of Fela Kuti’s album sleeves, Sis. Affiong Affiong, co-founder of Moyo wa Taifa, a Pan African Women’s Network, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila andAdebola Williams, co-founder of RED Strat while Prof. Sophie Ouwole, executive director Centre for African Culture and Development (CEFACAD) moderated.