By Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo, SAN
I was at the Unbarred concert of the NBA and I left the venue at 01:45am not because of the Musician known and called Portable, but because I was very tired and I also had a meeting to attend at 10am later that morning. I, therefore, needed to have some rest, more so that reality is now dawned on me that I am no longer getting younger.
I didn’t register for this year NBA conference at all because I am still aggrieved and unhappy with the NBA leadership for their failure to give me not even a tag , talk-less of a conference bag at the 2022 NBA conference in Lagos. I paid so much to register for that conference, yet I got nothing at all to show for it. In actual fact, my wife continues to doubt my true attendance of that conference till the second coming of Jesus Christ. I believe till date that I was robbed by the leadership of the Bar, hence my decision to boycott this year conference in Abuja.
All efforts made by the Chair of the Conference Planning Committee, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN and a very good colleague of mine who is also a member of the Committee, Barbara Omosun Esq to convince me to register fell on deaf ears. I was at the conference exhibition grounds only to buy some books and legal accessories.
Let me confess however before returning to the Portable issue that the 2023 conference was well organised. It was a world class conference. I am not a fan of Y. C. Maikyau, SAN who is the current President of the Bar. I parted ways with him and his led exco when he resorted to unwarranted and unjustified attacks on some prominent leading legal practitioners of Yoruba extraction in a proxy war that the President is prosecuting for the reasons best known to him alone.
However, when I saw the top notch organisation of this year Annual General Conference of the Bar co-chaired by the learned Silk, Mazi Afam Osigwe and the Amazon of the Bar, the charming and pretty Mrs. Oyinkan Badejo-Okusanya, I needed nobody to convince me before I paid for 2 Presidential Bar Dinner tickets for myself and my colleague, Oluwaseun Adeola Adedipe Esq. We attended the Presidential Dinner and I can attest to the fact that, save for starting well behind the scheduled time( African time, of course), it was also a first class dinner by any standard that one may use to assess or rate it.
Back to the Portable issue at the Unbarred Concert, I was at the event as stated above and it was fun-filled. I have heard a lot about the young musician, but I don’t even know him and I can’t even recognise him even if I see him tomorrow.
I asked Mr. Adedipe when I read online the viral report that some participants staged a walkout in protest against Portable. Mr. Adedipe told me that Portable had indeed commenced his performance for about 15 minutes before I asked that we should leave, not in any protest but just because I was very tired. Those who are now spreading the fake news of the walkout protest might as well counted me among those who walked out on Portable which in any event was not true. The event was well-attended and it was great fun all through. Those who are denigrating the Bar because of Portable’s engagement and or performance are just being mischievous and also throwing up mere primordial sentiments to run down their perceived enemies at the Bar which is neither Y. C. Maikyau, SAN nor Portable himself. The baseless attacks on Portable’s engagement is rooted in both the Bar politics and the national politics!!!
Am a Fuji music enthusiast and a die-hard fan of Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Balogun, MFR( Barrister) who was the Creator of that genre of music. I also love and admire the good fuji music of Alhaji Isiaka Iyanda Sawaba of blessed memory, also that of the Cappo Di Tutti, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal (KWAM 1) , the Corporate Fuji exponent, Adewale Ayuba and my own brother, Alhaji Abass Akande Obesere.
The nature of the appealing and matured music of Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister or the fujified music of Mayegun KWAM 1 or the corporate oriented music and impeccable dress sense of Mr. Adewale Ayuba should not be a license for anyone to throw caution to the winds to denigrate or condemn in any manner whatsoever the sleaze styles in nature songs Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma or that of Mr. Muri Thunder and or indeed the music of the Great Alhaji Abass Akande Obsere ( omo arapala and the king of saje/asakasa(sleaze fuji) or that of Mr. Lateef Ilori ( Kukuye) of blessed memory and our Kamoru Ishola (Gbejo )of Agbede Adodo, Ibadan of blessed memory who were in actual fact the first and the second persons to introduce sleaze, raw, ghetto and tarmac languages lexicon into Fuji music in Nigeria. Yet, they had their own cultic followers and fans.
Why so much fuss about Portable performing at the NBA conference? During my Student’s days at the Universities of Lagos and later Ibadan, the legendary Fela Anikulapo was always engaged by all the great clubs and associations on our campuses then for live performances. Anybody who had attended Fela’s live concert before will agree with me that the person was then a secondary Indian hemp or marijuana smoker and that included my good self. How will you be at Fela’s concert and will not inhale enough smoke of marijuana which almost every other person beside you was smoking with all latitude. Or do we talk of Fela’s habitual almost naked dress sense? But that was the great Fela for you. It was for the organisers to take him as he was or leave him if they couldn’t cope with his unique identities. After all, they could have as well invited and engaged some Islamic or Christian Gospel Musicians and there were truly many of them out there at that time and even till now.
I also listened with delight and full satisfaction as I am a fanatical fan of Tiwa Savage’s Afro music as well as the Afro music of Asa. The dress senses of the duo are unique and are in contrast to each other. It would therefore be preposterous for anybody to use the habit of either of them to condemn or ridicule the other. Varieties are indeed what make this world of ours tick. Even among lawyers and also all professionals , we all have our nuances and different brands that are unique to each practitioner and also law firms.
I don’t see anything untoward in the NBA inviting Portable to feature and perform at the concert organised during the just concluded and well-organised NBA conference. The unfounded and mischievous criticisms being touted all over now is akin to those who are fond of condemning the Big Brother Africa/Big Brother Naija on any ground.
I have asked those hypocrites and pretenders of the Big Brother’ show why they must tune in their own television set to the channel airing the show when in actual fact DSTV or Multi-choice has over 200 channels? Were they forced or hypnotised to do so?
Enough of mischief and hypocrisy please.
It is therefore my considered opinion that members of the Bar( if any) who truly staged walkout on Portable who was a Guest Artist at this year Unbarred Concert are , to say the least, very immature. Such members of the Bar would at anytime walk out on Judges whenever court’s proceedings become hostile or unfavourable to them or when it failed to meet their own expectations.
Dated this 2nd day of Septemner, 2023
JCI Senator Mutalubi Ojo Adebayo, SAN
Asiwaju of Ita-Ege and Idi-Aro,
Ibadan South-East Local Government Area,
Oyo State of Nigeria.