Organized labour has hailed the Lagos state governor Akinwunmi Ambode for the unveiling of a statue in memory of the iconic musician as part of the week long activities marking his 79th posthumous birthday and the 20th anniversary of his death. Comrade Issa Aremu, a NEC member of NLC made this submission at the well attended statue unveiling ceremony at Allen Roundabout in Ikeja, Lagos also called on President Muhammed Buhari to posthumously honour Fela for what he called his “arts patriotism and arts pan-Africanism” as well as his “anti-corruption and campaign for good governance tested record”.
Comrade Aremu described Fela as a “working man who truly lived on his sweat” in spite of what he called repeated “official military regime terror” adding that “the late legend symbolized dignity of labour” in a country in which “few elite thrived on corruption and “authority stealing” referring to one of the iconic’s music albums in the 80s.
The labour leader said even at death Fela inspired hope for a strong united Nigeria and economic recovery. Recalling with nostalgia, Fela’s “Buy Africa” album in 1974, Comrade Aremu observed that at a time, it was not fashionable to patronize Africa and even more fashionable to ape Europe and America, Fela rightly warned that prosperity would elude Africa without patronage of its products and ideas by Africans themselves. He said it was time for government “to walk the patriotic songs of Fela” through targeted public budgetary spending to buy goods that must be produced at home in order to create sustainable jobs for the millions of youths. Fela statue unveiling was attended by notable human rights activist and Fela’s lawyer Femi Falana and scores of Nolly wood actors and actresses.