Opinion: The unfortunate arrest of Omah Lay & Tems…

The Nigerian trio of Stanley Omah Didia alias Omah Lay, Temilade Openyi alias Tems and Muyiwa Awomiyi have been charged to court in Makindye on charges of Negligently doing acts likely to spread an infectious diseases C/S 171 of the Penal Code Act. The earlier plans of releasing them on police bond, were suspended after their casefile was sanctioned by the Office of the DPP.  They were jointly charged with four other Ugandans. All remanded till Wednesday 16.12.2020” (Uganda Police Force, 14.12.2020).

In the nation of Yellow, the Republic of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The republic where there is one law for the National Resistance Movement and another one for the opposition. The Nigerian artist Omah Lay, Tems and others have been arrested after performing on Saturday 12th December 2020 in Kampala.

That is not shocking knowing the UPF and how the police operates in Uganda. This is how they do. However, these are the fall guys. Yes, by the standards during the pandemic. This is wrong and nobody else have been allowed to perform. No other artists have been able to perform on other venues than NTV and NBS in the weekends. All concerts have been closed off due to COVID-19 or Coronavirus.

However, still it’s not directly to blame Omah Lay or Tems either. These are hired acts to a venue. Yes, they have arrested the manager of the venue and others. However, the Police hasn’t investigated who gave the visa, who accepted the performance and who made the paperwork happened. If the paperwork wasn’t in order and the pay-off to the artists wasn’t in place. They wouldn’t have taken the flight and performed in the first place.

That is why it’s understandable for a PR perspective to arrest the “big-men” and the ones on stage. Nevertheless, the ones arranging, the one managing and the ones vouching for them legally should be questioned. The ones giving a “Go” sign and allowing it. As there was no tear-gas, no disruptive police officers or issues at the venue. Other than a packed crowd. Just like it is these days at NRM campaign venues and on the streets when the President passes by.

Therefore, the arrest in that way is hypocritical. If your afraid of the spread. Why are you doing it at your own venues and on the campaign trail? What the big whoop about a concert? When you have processions, gatherings and even Zoom meetings with 300 people in one room? Please do tell!

In this regard, the foreign artists are targets and the fall people. There been people allowing it to happen in peace. However, the aftermath and the viral explosion of pictures led to the arrests. The reaction, because someone understood they did a boo-boo. However, the Nigerian artists didn’t do the wrong thing directly. Yes, they shouldn’t have performed, but neither should anyone have allowed either.

It is very simple, but is still so hectic. This case seems like someone trying to make a point. Where the foreign artists gets all the blame. They were paid to entertain and they did. Someone opened the gates, put up the lights and said “go”. Not like that didn’t happen without any government institutions said “yes” and made it happen. It is all connected, but those folks that vouched for it and gave it a go ahead. Is silent, because they know they messed up and it’s easier for these strangers and aliens to take the blame. Peace.

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