Nigeria Authorities Insist On the Release of Detained Musicians in Uganda
Top government officials in Nigeria say “everything possible” is being done to ensure the release of two musicians being held by the police in Uganda.
Ugandan police say the Nigerian singers, Omah Lay and Tems, their manager, and four others had risked spreading coronavirus with a concert held on Saturday in Kampala.
They were charged on Monday for “negligently doing acts likely to spread an infectious disease” and police say they will be detained until Wednesday when they are expected to be re-arraigned in court.
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama tweeted that the government was engaging with the Ugandan authorities at the “highest level”, while the head of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, tweeted that “tremendous diplomatic progress has been made and they will be back [very ] soon by God’s grace.”
Uganda’s opposition presidential candidate and music star Bobi Wine expressed support for the musicians, tweeting that there was “absolutely no reason why our brothers should still be detained yet their concert was under police watch”:
Uganda’s government has suspended social gatherings, including, controversially, election campaign rallies to limit the spread of the virus.
Nigerian musicians and fans have tweeted in support of the detained singers, but Ugandan police have insisted that the laws of their country must be obeyed.