It’s been a week since famous Nigerian singer Olawale Ashimi, known as Brymo, subtly suggested that the Igbos in Nigeria are not ripe for the presidency and took swipes at the supporters of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi.
The remarks have incurred the wrath of the Igbos and Mr Obi’s supporters.
Now, a petition which began six days ago seeking to stop his nomination for the 2022 All Africa Music Award (AFRIMA) has garnered 28,000 signatures.
The goal is 35,000 signatures.
The petition started by one Charles Ogundele accused the singer of putting up a series of hateful messages on Twitter toward the Igbo tribe of Nigeria, going as far as retweeting a tweet which said that all Igbos are senseless.
“His actions spark disunity and hatred in attention there. Preventing him from winning the All Africa Music Award would send a strong message to him, and people like him, that he can’t get away with such blatant ethnic bigotry,” the petition reads.
Although the petition was started by Mr Ogundele, who does not seem to have any digital footprint, the first time it was shared on social media was by a Twitter user who goes by the name Uche with the handle @I_amSteady.
The singer was nominated in the 8th AFRIMA, which kicks off on Thursday in the Songwriter of the Year Category.
The song ‘Fura Sára’, off his ninth album, ‘Esan’, earned him the nomination.
He will be going up against Bridget Blue and JibrilBlessing(Kenya), Daniel Baron (South Africa), Iba One (Mali), Lloyiso Mandlovandile Gigana and Luke Goliath (South Africa).
Others are Martin Obudho (Kenya), Matias Damasio (Angola), Mordecai ‘Dex’ Mini (Kenya), Rokia Kone and Garret Lee, (Mali) and Sidy Diop (Senegal).
The petition went viral on Twitter and other social media platforms, causing it to trend for days.
While some described the singer as a bigot, others believed he spoke within his rights.
Entertainers who have reacted to Brymo’s tweets include Peter ‘Psquare’ Okoye, Kelly Handsome, Dremo and others.
If you want to support ur candidate,support in Peace!! You don’t need to bring down the entire region!!
We have tolerated this foolishness from other tribe alot and it has to stop!!
Brymo issa bigot
— Ma_Queen🛡⭕️🐻 (@Nwaa_Amaka) January 5, 2023
Signing petition to stop Brymo from winning the AFRIMA award is tantamount to signing petition against hard work and good music. He makes good music that heal the soul and it’s well deserved if he wins,regardless of his political view. pic.twitter.com/IHQuUVuEgB
— Abiola Williams (@AbiolaWilliam19) January 8, 2023
Meanwhile, a counter-petition, ‘Political and hate bully on BRYMO. Let’s stop. Has been started on change.org.
The petition was started by one Abdullai Hassan, who stated that Brymo had been politically and hatefully bullied by politicians and supporters of a presidential candidate for the general elections in Nigeria slated to hold on 25 February, 2023.
“Brymo is targeted with hate and bullying on all social media, including Twitter which is the centre of the attack against his person by those people because of his political choice and stand.
“They have even gone as far as making a petition against him to be dropped by the AFRIMA award, an award for which he has duly nominated, and the petition is politically sponsored and driven by hate,” the new petition reads.
So far, it has garnered almost 4,000 signatures of its 5,000 target.
Meanwhile, Brymo, who signed an international distribution deal with Tate Music Group in 2015, appears unbothered by the petition.
Not only did he share it on Twitter, but he also signed it.
He wrote, “Stop Brymo from winning the All Africa Music Award for Songwriter of the Year because of his ethnic…:”
Stop Brymo from winning the All Africa Music Award for Song Writer of the Year because of his ethnic … https://t.co/vIuhZWJu6i via @Change
— Ọláwálé Ọlọ́fọ̀ọrọ̀ (@BrymOlawale) January 8, 2023
The Nigerian presidential election will be held on 25 February, 2023.
In solid contention for the seat are Mr Obi, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu and the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
READ ALSO: 2023: It’s not prudent to vote for Peter Obi- Brymo
Meanwhile, some Nigerian entertainers have pitched their tents with their preferred candidate, drawing a divide between Mr Obi and Mr Tinubu.
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