The other faces of Tuface
Before now, pop songster, Innocent Idibia, widely known as Tuface, cuts the picture of an apolitical person whose chief concern is his music, fame and wealth. This writer has followed Tuface’s musical career since he was with the defunct Plantation Boyz. Tuface was actually the true face of the now rested Plantation Boyz which made wave a few years back on the local music scene. As the three artistes that made up the defunct group went on solo run, Tuface has turned out to be an instant hit of the lot.
Like the maverick late Afro-beat king, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, since he released the block buster single, African Queen, Tuface has continued to churn out one monster hit after the other. Till date, he remains perhaps the most decorated Nigerian artiste of all time, consistently winning laurels both at home and abroad. Tuface’s strong point is his stunningly sweet voice. Oh! How amazingly irresistible is his voice! But then, as alluring as his voice is, so also is his look. Tuface, no doubt, has a smashing look. So, naturally, as it is with artistes, good look and captivating voice predictably brought to Tuface great wealth, fame and, of course, loads of female admirers. It is, indeed, on the latter platform that Tuface once trended significantly, with what a comedian once described as his acclaimed contribution to the country’s growing population through the kids he has sired from an assortment of women.
So, all along, one’s perception of Tuface is that of a fun loving wealthy artiste who is logically content with his comfort zone. However, recent development from the stable of the wave-making artiste has changed all that. The crowd-pulling artiste roughened not a few feathers when he recently announced that he would be leading a nationwide protest, against what he termed obnoxious policies implemented by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.
In an unusual foray into political activism, the Benue-born artiste took to his Instagram page to confirm that the protest would hold both in Abuja and Lagos. 2face wrote: A call for good governance. We the people are tired. We can no longer continue with all of you. All your excuses and mistakes are not funny. We do not wish to continue with a system and government that is not working but afflicting the people. There is need for Nigerians to rise against what is happening in this country having waited patiently for the legislatures that were elected to represent the people all to no avail
Wow! Coming from Tuface, this was a most intriguing statement. Though, Tuface eventually backed off the # I Stand with Nigeria protest, citing security challenges based on strong feelers that the event might be hijacked by interests not aligned with the original idea behind the protest, but one thinks it is a good development in our political system for such seemingly comfortable and famous artiste of Tuface’s stature to openly spearhead and identify with such political cause that could hold government accountable to the governed.
The concept of democracy has received varying definitions and interpretations from scholars and political observers depending on the ideological leaning or interest of the contending scholars. However, there are certain basic features of democracy that serve as consensus among the contending perspectives. One of such is accountability. Every democratically elected government is accountable to the people, to whom it owes its existence. These people, therefore, need to be consistently told how public funds are being spent and that the mandate given, are being utilised. Of course, this could be a two way thing. If the people think that the government isn’t doing enough to advance their course, trough acceptable democratically permissible platforms, they could convey their grievances or feelings.
Globally, this is one of the hallmarks of democracy. Recently, in the United States of America, many world famous artistes collaborated with diverse interest groups in a nationwide protest against the Trump administration. The beauty of it is that the protesters had their way while government equally utilised the occasion to further clarify on perceived areas of misunderstanding. Communication is of essence in a democracy and protest, when it is properly organised and clinically coordinated, is a veritable means of communication. Unfortunately, in our clime, it is often seen as an affront against government. Thus, it is not uncommon to hear government officials affirm that a protest is being sponsored by perceived enemies of government. But then, supposing this is even true, it means the opposition is alive to its responsibility of keeping a ruling government in check.
One has heard backers and officials of government in Abuja posit that the government isn’t responsible for the current hardship in the country and that it is actually working hard to change things. While one might not necessarily dispute or agree with this assertion, it isn’t enough reason to dissuade Nigerians from protesting because it is their right. Is it too early to put the Federal Government on its toes? Is it fair to put so much pressure on government when it is obvious it inherited lots of stinking baggage? The answer is simple: A docile public constitutes a greater threat to democracy. The more people ask questions about their government, the better for our democracy.
On the alleged claim by security agencies that the botched Tuface protest might breach public security, it is important to stress that while the people have a right to protest, the security organs equally have the onerous task of ensuring security.
As for Tuface backing out of the protest at the last minute, it should not be seen as a show of cowardice. As the artiste said on his Instagram page, if there were verifiable proofs that the protest could lead to pointless loss of lives, would it not be counterproductive? Meanwhile, it is quite fascinating to detect that Tuface actually has many faces!
Ogunbiyi sent this piece from Ikeja, Lagos.