Nigerian Afrobeat singer, Dede Mabiaku, on Monday stormed out of a live radio interview after he falsely accused presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, of having asked him to “shut up.”
A female presenter on Lagos Talks 93.1 FM had asked questions about Buhari administration’s policies as well as about an upcoming nationwide protest being championed by entertainer, Innocent ‘TuFace’ Idiabia.
About 40 minutes into the interview, which took place at the station’s studio in Ikoyi, Lagos, Mr. Adesina said Nigerians gearing up for the protest, slated for February 5 across the country, were those still disgruntled by the outcome of the 2015 elections.
The protesters are still “living and romanticising in the immediate past”, Mr. Adesina said.
Mr. Mabiaku then interjected: “Haba! Femi, Rora!.” Translated literally from Yoruba: “Haba! Femi, take it easy!.”
Mr. Adesina then asked him to “keep quiet and let me talk.”
Mr. Mabiaku initially yielded to Mr. Adesina’s response for a few minutes while the presidential spokesman sued for more patience from Nigerians.
President Buhari has a mandate that should last “48 months”, but he has not even spent half of it, Mr. Adesina said.
The interviewer then turned to Mr. Mabiaku and asked him to respond to Mr. Adesina’s explanation.
“Why do you want to hear me when he had the audacity to tell me to shut up?” a visibly-irritated Mr. Mabiaku said.
He then stood up and unplugged the studio headset and reached for the door knob. All efforts to calm him down by the host failed.
When PREMIUM TIMES sought Mr. Adesina’s comment on the incident, he said he did not ask Mr. Mabiaku to shut up as alleged by the musician.
“Please go and see the video very well and get back to me,” he said.
Mr. Idibia himself has been enduring regular attacks from supporters of the Buhari administration who questioned his moral authority to lead such a major protest, including allegations that he is getting financial backing from opposition party politicians.
But he denied the allegations and said he remained undaunted by them, promising his supporters that the march would go on as planned.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated to reflect the exact words used by Mr. Adesina.