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“Police Explain Teargas Use at Lekki Toll Gate During Mohbad’s Candlelit Funeral”

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Lagos State Police issued a statement on Friday explaining their use of teargas to disperse a gathering at the Lekki Toll gate on September 21, a day that saw a candlelit funeral procession held in honor of the late singer Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, at Victoria Island, Lagos.

In their statement, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, the police spokesman in Lagos State, emphasized that no live ammunition was discharged, and they employed crowd management strategies to handle the unruly crowd, ensuring no injuries or casualties occurred.

Hundeyin went on to address the prevalent misinformation surrounding the incident, particularly regarding the agreement made with the procession organizers. He explained that the police had an arrangement with the organizers to conclude the candlelit procession no later than 8 p.m. at Muri Okunola Park, Victoria Island. Additionally, due to heavy traffic on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, it was agreed that the Lekki Toll Gate would be off-limits.

However, after the procession concluded at Muri Okunola Park with police providing security throughout, some individuals gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate with intentions unrelated to the #justiceforMohbad initiative. This gathering violated the established agreement, prompting the police to engage the procession organizers in persuading the crowd to disperse peacefully.

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Despite hours of persuasion and social media messages urging dispersal, the crowd remained defiant, and traffic on the expressway was at a standstill. Given their prior experience with such situations and the potential for chaos, the police decided to use teargas, considering it the least harmful method to disperse the crowd, following the failure of verbal and social media-based persuasion.

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The Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr. Idowu Owohunwa, issued a warning to individuals or groups causing disturbances, stating that they would be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The police expressed appreciation for the cooperation of the procession organizers and assured both supporters of #justiceforMohbad and Lagos residents that they would prioritize safety and security. The investigation into Mohbad’s death is ongoing, and the police called on the public to avoid creating unnecessary distractions and allow the police to conduct a conclusive and timely investigation.

Hundeyin emphasized that the police have been working closely with support groups for #justiceforMohbad and pledged to maintain this collaboration while keeping the public informed of the investigation’s progress.

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Nigerian music industry now copying my style, says Portable

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Controversial Nigerian singer, Habeeb Okikiola, popularly known as Portable, has claimed that most artistes in the music industry now copy his dance and dressing style.

Portbale stated that the music videos in the industry originate from him and are repackaged by others.

He made this known while featuring on the latest episode of the Afrobeats podcast with Adesope.

Seaking in pidgin, he said, “I blow by myself, even my dance blow. All those dance wey dem dey do, na me get am, dem just dey pieces am. Na my network dem dey use for industry now. Go check all the videos for industry now, na my dressing; the big clothes, big shoes, ‘small body, big engine’ na my own.

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“If you don blow, anything wey you do, dem go dey repackage am. DEM dey do my style of beat and movement. Even dem don dey copy my bad character.”

He also took a swipe at artistes in the inudstry living a fake life.

His words: “Dem go say them build house for Lekki, and you no get the paper. Now, for one land, you go see 17 like landlords. No one plot, two or three plots. Me and you go dey open one door, and say ‘good morning’ and we still be landlord.

“Now, the day wey dem wan demolish or sell the house, who go drop the doument? Who go collect the money? They have been duped.”

Before we blow, e get some artistes wey we dey say ‘God, i wan be like this.’ No dey tell God say you wan be like this, say i want to be like myself. For this industry, e get some wey get money for this industry, and some no get money.’

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Spotify’s ‘Wrapped’ unveils Nigeria’s most popular soundscapes, listening habits in 2023

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Spotify, on Wednesday, unveiled this year’s edition of ‘Wrapped’, its highly anticipated annual recap of listeners’ musical journeys. This immersive experience provides users with a comprehensive overview of their year in music, allowing them to reflect on their preferences and discover hidden gems. This year’s Wrapped showcases the remarkable diversity of music and the passionate listening habits of Nigerian music enthusiasts.

As the year comes to a close, Spotify Wrapped takes users on a personalised journey through their favourite songs, artists, albums, and genres that defined their musical experience in 2023. Nigeria once again echoed with a vibrant tapestry of musical voices, as talented artists emerged and reigned supreme on the charts. For the third year in a row, Nigerian artistes and songs make up Nigeria’s top ten most streamed artistes, in true showcase of Nigeria’s pride in their own music.

“Nigeria is a hotbed of musical talent, and we’re incredibly proud to showcase the diversity and passion of Nigerian music lovers through Wrapped,” said Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s Head of Music, Sub-Saharan Africa. “This year’s Wrapped is a testament to the power of music to connect people and bring them closer to the culture and traditions of Nigeria.”

In 2023, Nigerian music took the world by storm, reaching unprecedented heights and breaking down barriers. Rema, one of the genre’s brightest stars, has had an extraordinary rise to fame. His collaboration with American pop star Selena Gomez on the hit single Calm down has won him legions of fans worldwide and has become the first African-led single to reach a billion streams on Spotify. A landmark achievement for African artistes, this song is the first by a Nigerian Afrobeats artiste to feature on the top 10 chart of most streamed recordings globally on Spotify. It also tops the Nigerian song export chart, solidifying its position as a global musical phenomenon.

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Rema and Asake have also cemented their positions as Afrobeats’ global ambassadors, with Rema holding the title of the most globally exported artist and Asake captivating audiences across Nigeria, Ghana, and Togo, earning him the coveted title of most streamed artist in each country. This continued international success further underscores the enduring appeal of Afrobeats as the most exported genre of the year.

Asake’s dominance continued in the Top 10 most streamed tracks, with three of his hits – Lonely At The Top, 2:30 and Amapiano making the cut. His reign extended to the Gen Z demographic, with Asake becoming the most streamed artiste among Nigerian and Ghanaian Gen Z listeners. His song Lonely At The Top further cemented his popularity among Nigerian Gen Zs, topping the charts for their age group.

Interestingly, Mohbad secured a position in the top 20 list of the most streamed artistes in Nigeria, an attribute to an increased interest in his music following his untimely death. His track Ask About Me was the top streamed track everyday between September 13 and 25.

On the top most streamed female artistes, Spotify RADAR alumnus and 1st time Grammy Nominee, Ayra Starr clinched the title of the most streamed female artist in Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Mercy Chinwo, a gospel artist, secured a spot among the top 10 most streamed female artists in Nigeria, underscoring the enduring popularity and influence of gospel music.

The throwback charts for 2023 were dominated by the legendary 2Pac, with his song Hit ‘Em Up – Single Version and album Greatest Hits securing the top spots. This resurgence of interest in 2Pac’s music is likely due to the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, the numerous headlines surrounding his death this year, and his enduring status as one of the most influential and successful rappers of all time. As a result, many Nigerians turned to Spotify to stream his music, solidifying his position in the charts.

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On top local podcasts in the hearts of Nigerian listeners, the spotlight falls on Apostle Joshua Selman, KOINONIA with Apostle Joshua Selman, The HonestBunch Podcast, I Said What I Said, Tea with Tay, and Koinonia Experience With Apostle Joshua Selman (ENI). The leading position of these podcast shows come as no surprise, given their widespread popularity among the youths, especially the Gen Zs and Millennials. Their popularity can also be attributed to their engaging and entertaining content, their keen awareness of trending subjects and their unfiltered and candid conversations.

Here’s what the Spotify Wrapped data says about Nigeria’s listening habits in 2023:

1: The demand for local music in Nigeria continued to skyrocket, with consumption growing by an impressive 284 per cent.

2: Average streams of female artists in Nigeria experienced a remarkable 150 per cent surge year-on-year
3: Music lovers in Nigeria turn up the volume on Fridays to indulge in their favourite tunes
4: Rema topped the list of most searched queries, while Burna Boy topped the list of both most searched artists and most viral artistes.

Asake’s Lonely At The Top claimed the first spot on most viral tracks

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Eligible users can access their personalised 2023 Wrapped experience exclusively in the Spotify mobile app (iOS and Android) and also this year, via web view on mobile or Desktop by heading to Spotify.com/Wrapped.

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US judge halts pending TikTok ban

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A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked a ban on TikTok set to come into effect next year in Montana, saying the popular video sharing app was likely to win its pending legal challenge.

US District Court Judge Donald Molloy placed the injunction on the ban until the case, originally filed by TikTok in May, has been ruled on its merits.

Molloy deemed it likely TikTok and its users will win, since it appeared the Montana law not only violates free speech rights but runs counter to the fact that foreign policy matters are the exclusive domain of the federal government.

“The current record leaves little doubt that Montana’s legislature and attorney general were more interested in targeting China’s ostensible role in TikTok than they with protecting Montana consumers,” Molloy said in the ruling.

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The app is owned by Chinese firm ByteDance and has been accused by a wide swathe of US politicians of being under Beijing’s tutelage, something the company furiously denies.

Montana’s law says the TikTok ban will become void if the app is acquired by a company incorporated in a country not designated by the United States as a foreign adversary.

TikTok had argued that the unprecedented ban violates constitutionally protected right to free speech.

The prohibition signed into law by Republican Governor Greg Gianforte is seen as a legal test for a national ban of the Chinese-owned platform, something lawmakers in Washington are increasingly calling for.

The ban would make it a violation each time “a user accesses TikTok, is offered the ability to access TikTok, or is offered the ability to download TikTok.”

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Each violation is punishable by a $10,000 fine every day it takes place.

Under the law, Apple and Google will have to remove TikTok from their app stores.

State political leaders have “trampled on the free speech of hundreds of thousands of Montanans who use the app to express themselves, gather information, and run their small business in the name of anti-Chinese sentiment,” ACLU Montana policy director Keegan Medrano said after the bill was signed.

The law is yet another skirmish in duels between TikTok and many western governments, with the app already banned on government devices in the United States, Canada and several countries in Europe.

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