20 Dec Nigerian artiste Omah Lay denied asylum in Uganda, deported
Nigerian musician Stanley Omah Didia, alias Omah Lay, was on Tuesday night put on the first available plane at Entebbe International Airport and seen out of Uganda “for the very good,” officials have told this writer.
The musician was last weekend arrested in Uganda after arriving in the country in what is believed to be a carefully orchestrated stunt to up his rating back home in Nigeria ahead of the festive season when most artistes hold concerts.
We put that boy and his accomplices on a plane and stayed at the terminal until we saw the anti-collision light recede further and further and disappear into the night sky, just to be sure,” an official, who preferred anonymity to avoid the wrath of Nigerians on Twitter, said.
Omah Lay was arrested together with compatriot Temilade Openyi, alias Tems, and their managers after apparently turning a brunch event into a concert at which crowds flouted the Covid-19 SOPs with reckless abandon.
After his arrest, Omah Lay told police that he was stressed in Nigeria where he said “armed militia never seem to go to sleep.”
“He wanted asylum but we told him we could not prove his claims or allow his jokes during the festive season so we had to deport him,” police said in a brief media briefing.
“For some reason, he was grinning like a bunny that had just had sex after spending months isolated from its partner and he you know this guy has some enviable dentition,” added a policewoman, one of the cops who saw Omah Lay off at the airport.
Asked if it made sense for an asylum seeker being deported to smile so much especially after spending nights in jail, the officer shrugged but added that one of the fellas working with the promoters of the ill-fated brunch-turned-concert had mentioned something about Omah Lay being “so lucky in December.”
Inquiries by this writer drew the conclusion that the musician and his promoters can take to the bank during the festive season.
“This guy is so lucky you could see even some Ugandan artistes are trying hard to tie on his fortunate misfortune,” promoter JalJah of the Big Fart Labels told this writer.
“Artistes usually pull off all sorts of stunts to draw public attention for their music or ahead of concerts. Being arrested like that was manna from heaven for Omah Lay,” he added.
JalJah even suggested that Omah Lay “probably planned it all” with his manager and the Ugandan promoters.
“I mean, this is Covid-19 pandemic period. Who in their right minds organises such an event and then rope in an upcoming international artiste to perform and flaunt such pictures on social media?” he asked.
Mbuzi Nsenkooko, a producer and promoter from Nalufenya, Jinja City, agreed with JalJah’s assertions. He advised police to investigate their Munyonyo officers for possible collusion to pull off a stunt.
“These guys were clever,” Mbuzi Nsenkooko said. “They knew police were under intense pressure over the selective application of Covid-19 restrictions laws and would be eager to make some balance of arrest for public good.”
Nsenkooko, who manages Goat-A-Cock, a recording studio based along Scindia Road in Jinja City that is so aptly named after him, added that Omah Lay would return to Nigeria to a massive welcome.
“I see this boy organise a big concert in Lagos this festive season and I see Burna Boy and Davido and others playing curtain-raisers for him. He got every musician’s dream in Uganda and he has those daring promoters in Munyonyo to thank.”
Most Ugandans had no idea who Omah Lay was before the arrest but, suddenly, everyone was sharing that selfie of him grinning with a crowd in the background. Overnight, he had relegated Bobi Wine and his whiny campaign to the footnotes of Uganda’s social media milieu.
Turning adversity into a fortune, Ugandans have hit YouTube in droves to view videos of Omah Lay’s songs while Nigerians who previously thought the name belonged to a militant in his birthplace of Port Harcourt, are now at peace.
So was it really a stunt and why was he ‘deported’? Yes for both, because this page is the best at making up stories every Sunday!