Almost three days after the demise of Nigerian music sensation, Promise Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, the president of the Marlian Records World, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, also known as Naira Marley, released a statement on Friday night, September 15, to officially react to the demise and other matters arising from it.
Naira Marley who signed Mohbad to his record label in 2019 has been linked to the demise of the musician by some fans of the late 27-year-old singer.
Samson Balogun, also known as Sam Larry, an associate of Naira Marley and a music promoter has also been linked to the death of the “KPK (Ko Por Ke)” crooner.
Hence, most followers of the unfolding events after the death of Mohbad on September 12, and the “hasty” burial of the singer on September 13, have been anxiously waiting to hear from Naira Marley.
In his uncharacteristic self, the “Marlians President” issued a lengthy statement via his Instagram page to address some of the speculations that have taken centre stage since the evening of September 12 when the news of Mohbad’s death went viral.
Below are four talking points from Naira Marley’s Statement On Mohbad’s Death:
1. Mohbad was like a brother to Naira Marley
Naira Marley started the statement by saying he is mourning the death of the 27-year-old singer; unfortunately, no one, except his closest associates, can confirm that. But what most followers of the Nigerian music industry will agree with is that the country is mourning “the loss of an exceptional talent”.
However, it is a catchy headline that Naira Marley called Mohbad “a brother and dear friend” after the series of videos on the internet purportedly showing the late singer being assaulted by people allegedly sent by the “Marlians President”.
Based on speculations, the seeming war between Marley and Mohbad started in 2022 when the late singer who was signed to Marlian Records requested a “different manager to handle his music and business affairs”.
When the request wasn’t granted, the singer allegedly decided to leave the record label, a development that didn’t sit well with Marley and his associates. Hence, reports claimed that Marley sent unnamed people to beat up the late musician.
If the beating Mohbad reportedly received from “boys” linked to Naira Marley is anything to go by, then most fans of the late singer would be stunned that Marley and his associates “are all heartbroken by his tragic loss”.
Marley also said in his statement that “no harm whatsoever was wished on Mohbad”, then, who was behind the “boys” that continually bullied the late singer until days before his sudden death? Well, like they say, time shall tell.
2. Championed His Talent?
It would be more interesting if the “Marlians President” told the world how he and his associates championed the “talent” of Mohbad when he left his record label between 2022 and 2023.
He admitted in his statement that “No family is perfect, families have disagreements”, which means that truly all was not well between him and the late singer even when the singer was still signed to his record label.
So, it sounds a bit contradictory that Marley and his co-hosts kept championing Mohbad’s talent when he left the record label in 2022. What most fans of the late singer saw, based on visuals on social media, was a serious effort made by Marlian Record to prevent the late singer from continuing with his music career at all costs.
A vivid example of that was a viral video reportedly showing Sam Larry, Marley’s alleged associate, trying to chase out Mohbad on a music video set involving Zlatan Ibile, a fellow street pop musician. So, how was that championing the talent of the late singer?
The only thing that truly championed the talent of the singer since he left Marlian Records in 2022 was his demise. His EP (Light), which was released in 2020, reportedly jumped to third in the Apple Nigerian music chart after it was announced that the singer had died. Also, his music videos on YouTube and other streaming platforms have been recording unprecedented views since September 12.
Hence, it will be interesting to hear from Marley how Mohbad’s death was “a loss” to Marlian Records World when the label could be making more money from Mohbad’s talent now than ever.
3. A call for a thorough investigation?
Yes! Thank heavens the Nigeria police had announced their readiness to investigate the circumstances surrounding Mohbad’s death and it is heartwarming that the writer behind Naira Marley’s statement deemed it fit to add his/her ink to the call for a “thorough investigation”.
Just like the Marlian Records, most Nigerian music lovers are “unhappy and unsettled with everything we have witnessed since Tuesday the 12th of September”. Hence, appropriate authorities should heed Marley’s call for an “investigation into the circumstances surrounding” Mohbad’s death.
Indeed, since September 12, there have been a series of accusations, and counter-accusations over who is responsible for the death of the singer. Even the way he reportedly died is mysterious to a very large extent.
Some say he went to the hospital on September 12, and the hospital claimed he had an ear infection and they injected him, only for him to die that same day, just like that! Funny enough, he was buried shabbily the next day even though he was a Christian, a religion that permits corpses to remain unburied as long as necessary.
After his death, alleged recordings in which Mohbad was allegedly accusing his wife, Wunmi, of planning to kill him went viral. Also, there are viral recordings in which Mohbad allegedly said if he died, Naira Marley and his associates should be held responsible.
In the same vein, there are viral recordings in which Mohbad claimed that after the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested him (alongside others for possession of illegal substances that included MDMA and cannabis) in February 2022, his body system has not been the same.
Hence, everyone, especially the law enforcement agencies in Nigeria “owe it to Mohbad to assist with uncovering any foul play or injustice” concerning the death of the singer.
We have to leave it to the security operatives to find out the truth about all the speculations even if it means opening the “hearts” of everyone to see if truly there is a “permanent hole” in them as alleged in Naira Marley’s statement.
4. Gagging Approach?
One thing that has forced Naira Marley and his associates to release a statement concerning the death of Mohbad three days after his death and two days after his burial is the amount of interest the manner of his death has raised on social media. But it seems the Marlians President doesn’t like that.
Yes, the death of Mohbad has indeed become a very sensitive issue, but why must it be that it is the Marlians President that will tell those aggrieved about how to react on social media? As far as doctored images, videos, or texts are not being circulated in connection to Mohbad’s death, then, there is no need for a “gag order” from anyone yet.
In conclusion, just like Naira Marley said in his statement, “So many things” were left unsaid in this piece as we trust that the security operatives would do their “due diligence” to unravel all the question marks on the death of Mohbad. The 27-year-old late singer might not be as perfect as most of us, but he did his best to live his dream which was cut short by death. Hence, Mohbad deserves justice as much as he deserves “a better send-off”.
Below is Naira Marley’s Complete Statement On Mohbad’s Death
With heavy hearts we mourn the loss of an exceptional talent. Someone who was more than an artist or signee but a brother and dear friend Promise” Mohbad” Oladimeji Aloba. We send our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones, we are all heartbroken by his tragic loss and will be truly missed.
From inception we recognized Mohbad was a force to be reckoned with. His music gave so many people love and light. Mohbad touched us all with his heartfelt lyrics, story telling, infectious smile and energy. The news of his passing has left us with a permanent hole in our hearts.
Mohbad is an incredible street pop star who contributed to the foundation of the Marlian Music. Despite his departure last year we continually championed his talent. No family is perfect, families have disagreements but no harm whatsoever was wished on Mohbad. So many things left unsaid but the love was always there. This tragedy is not only a loss for us but to everyone you touched musically around the world.
As we share our condolences to the late Mohbad, we would like to echo a call for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. We’re unhappy and unsettled with everything we have witnessed since Tuesday the 12th Sept. We owe it to Mohbad to assist with uncovering any foul play or injustice. Our brother deserved a better send off, it saddens us that we couldn’t assist with providing a befitting burial. We will continue our efforts to reach out to the family.
We urge our colleagues in the media to treat this matter with the utmost sensitivity, respect and care. We publicly appeal to the authorities to do due diligence and we will work closely to support those handling the matter. Finally urge the online community to refrain from circulating damaging accusations that could compromise the investigation.
Rest well Imole, forever in our hearts. A Fashola aka Naira Marley