Late Afro-beat maestro Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s family has reacted to the use of the musician’s song, Eko Ile, in a campaign jingle produced by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Femi, the late musician’s son, protested the breach of his father’s intellectual property right in the statement he tweeted on Monday. The ‘Beng Beng’ singer, himself an activist, said the administrators of Fela’s estate did not authorise the use of the song for political campaigns and would not want to be associated with any of the contending candidates.
He said, “We wish to state here for clarity, that the permission of the Estate was not sought for the use of Fela’s music ‘Eko ile’.
“We wish to state here for clarity that the permission of the Estate was not sought for the use of Fela’s music, Eko Ile, in the All Progressives Congress Social Media campaign currently making the rounds.
“We do not involve Fela’s music in any political campaign at home or abroad and choose to remain neutral. While we wish all candidates the best, we demand that the laws of the federal republic be abided by and intellectual property rights are duly respected.”
Fela, an iconic musician, Pan-Africanist, social crusader, and activist was a political gadfly, who through his music deplored corruption, maladministration, and military rule.
His political songs and strong views condemning military rule led to his run-ins with the authorities. Under General Olusegun Obasanjo (retd) as Nigeria’s head of state in the 1970s, soldiers invaded and burnt down Fela’s Molasashi, Mushin, Lagos home.
During the siege, his mother, Funmilayo Ransom-Kuti was manhandled, leading to her eventual death. The military government said ‘unknown soldiers’ were responsible for the attack on Fela’s home.