June 17, 2021


AfricaTopForum – News Around Africa

Seun Kuti launches Movement of the People despite police ban

3 min read

By Gbenga Bada and Olaitan Ganiu

This event is supposed to happen at the Afrikan Shrine and it was a meeting of all socialist progressive organisations to launch the movement of the people and start our political resistance to the tyranny of this oppressive regime,” were the words of Seun Kuti as he proceeded to launch a new movement despite police ban for such gathering.

During the launch, Kuti, flanked by representatives of other organisations, expressed that though the police tried aborting the plans, he would not be deterred.

“Even though they diminish our space, they can’t diminish the things we control and things we must control. We must not see that as a defeat but as more fuel to the fire that is propelling us forward from the tyranny that is the Nigerian situation today,” Kuti began.

Continuing, he said, “I am sitting down here with members of all the progressive organisations that I have been with for several decades and some people have been in the struggle since I was small. The Movement of the People being an alliance of all progressive organisations, socialist progressive organisations and this is our own way of announcing this movement that will bring about political and business opposition to our ruling elite.”

On Monday, November 16, the Afrobeat musician announced that the Nigerian police had threatened to seal Femi Kuti’s Afrikan Shrine in Central Business District if continued with his decision to launch the movement alongside other organisations.

“I respect my family’s decision not to hold the event but I will still go ahead with all the other organisations to launch the Movement of the People tomorrow and start our political resistance to the tyranny of this oppressive regime.

“This is a meeting, just a meeting of organisations and they are basically banning the right of association. Why are they afraid of the people organising? What is democratic about this act? The last time we tried to launch the government quickly called a curfew and this time they have used threats but you can’t stop the will of the people,” the younger Kuti said on his official Instagram account on Monday night.

The Nigeria Police had banned Kuti from holding the launch of a mass meeting at the African Shrine, Lagos.

In a letter shared by Kuti, the police explained the reasons for the ban of such a gathering.

The police explain that following the recent violence that marred the EndSARS protest in Lagos, it won’t allow the launch of the Movement of the People to hold.

“It is on this premise that I write that such a gathering of meeting planned to be hosted at your venue is not welcome at this perilous time when the security of the nation is trying to find her footing to stabilize all threats to life and properties.”

“You are hereby warned to suspend such gathering as any infraction that may emerge from this gathering will be tag a deliberate action to sabotage the transition and restoration of the peace in Lagos State by the Lagos state government and the Nigeria Police Force,” the letter addressed to Yeni Kuti read in parts.

The youngest son of the famous afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, had followed suit in his late father’s footstep of clamouring for the emancipation of the people from the ruling elites.