- Title: NIGERIA: Nigerian comic uses music to call for release of abducted schoolgirls
- Date: 15th May 2014
- Summary: VARIOUS OF CREW FILMING FAGADE SINGING
- Embargoed: 30th May 2014 13:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Crime,Conflict,Arts
- Reuters ID: LVADD0NJ53WQSQ24U6GMOMEMZ9D9
- Story Text: Nigerian comedian Oluwafemi Fagade has released a song called "There Is God O" as a plea to the government to rescue more than 200 schoolgirls, abducted by Islamist rebel group Boko Haram.
As nationwide protests continue for the girls, kidnapped from their school last month, Fagade, popularly known as Omo Baba, felt the time was right to release the song which he wrote after watching Nigeria's first lady Patience Jonathan break down in tears during a meeting with other women in Abuja on May 4.
The lyrics of the song are inspired by the first lady's words and call on Boko Haram to stop killing and on Nigeria's leaders to do all they can to rescue the abducted girls.
Omo Baba said Nigeria needed to urgently tackle the problem which was plaguing the country.
"We are one and we need to come together and we need to stay together, pray together to fight whatever is going on. We're talking about Boko Haram, is it not much more than that? Is that the only problem you think we have in this country? We've seen brothers killing brothers, we've seen sisters killing sisters. I addressed everybody, I addressed our leaders not to fold their hands and say 'oh, it's all well, moreover, it's not getting to my own family and we are cool'," the comedian said at a video shoot on Wednesday (May 14).
Other comedians, including Okey Bakassi, turned up at the shoot to support Omo Baba.
"The reason most comedians came behind this is that it is in our place to joke, you know. But for once, we're not joking about this, we're being very serious, that is the uniqueness of this message. A lot of people will expect that we'll be the ones doing the funny videos about this circumstance, you know. But the surprise element in it is that we're the ones who are saying this is no joke, this is a very serious issue," said Bakassi.
President Goodluck Jonathan is under pressure to crush the rebels who have killed thousands in their campaign for an Islamist state and to free the girls whose abduction a month ago has sparked global outrage.
One Lagos resident, Salako Oluwaponmile, said Omo Baba's song emphasised the need for the country to stay together.
"I think it's deep, it's a deep song. I think unlike what other people are doing, I think it's matured. What other people are doing, using some events to crack jokes, but he is actually bringing out the depth showing us the reason why we need to be prayerful why we need to stay as one as a country, why we need to stop the killings and the bombings. I think it, it says a whole lot, it emphasises the need for one Nigeria. I love the song," he said.
Rebels stormed a school in the northeastern village of Chibok a month ago and seized 276 girls who were taking exams. Some have escaped, but about 200 remain missing. On Monday (May 12), Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau released a video showing some of the girls in captivity.
Nigeria's president has rejected an offer from Boko Haram to exchange the girls for imprisoned militants, but the government says it is open to broader talks with the rebels, a visiting British minister said.
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