Fuji war goes bloody
By Ayeni Adekunle
They tried to sweep it under the carpet but the wave of bitter enmity sweeping through the Fuji music industry is difficult to cage.
And last Sunday in Lagos, the show of shame reached an unprecedented high, as one of the key players, Saheed Osupa, allegedly threw caution to the wind, causing many innocent people to be beaten, harrased and arrested after bandits shattered the windscreen of his Chrysler, inside the premises of Lagos Television, Ikeja.
According to eye-witness account, several Fuji artistes had thronged the TV premises to attend the unveiling and fund-raising dinner for the Yoruba Music and Film Awards.
The eyewitness said, ??Most of the members of the Fuji musicians association were there, including Malaika, Osupa, Atawewe and Saka Orobo.??
But while the event went free of hitches, a brief altercation with touts later caused damage to Osupa?s Chrysler Sedan. Infuriated, the controversial lyricist left the venue, only to return with armed policemen and touts. ??His touts were on rampage, attacking everyone around, including journalists and actors.??
It is the second time this year that Osupa will be at the mercy of angry fans in Lagos.
At the same venue recently, it took the intervention of Pasuma to prevent him from being lynched by fans who were upset by his constant attacks on KWAM 1, Pasuma and Malaika.
And the genesis of the whole hatred and violence is the unending battle over who is the recognised crown-prince of the genre. With Pasuma being KWAM 1?s right hand man and obvious king-in-waiting, other acts ? including Osupa and Obesere ? would not rest, until they schemed similar endorsements from other royal lines.
Saheed Osupa, a truly gifted poet and performer has celebrated his decoration as king by Sikiru Ayinde Barrister (although the Fuji pioneer has come out to deny crowning him king) Abass Akande Obesere is setting up his own palace; while Sule Alao Malaika has given himself the title of Alayeluwa since 2004.
With bitter songs targeted at one another, violent enmity and regular altercations, the Fuji Musicians Association is getting worried just as Fuji god-fathers, Barrister and Kollington Ayinla, continue to call for peace and reconciliation meetings.
But is it surprising that the warring younger acts have not listened to Kollington and Barrister. Both Osupa and Pasuma are also guilty of battling for supremacy, and, until a recent reconciliation, they had released at least two albums each, in which they attacked each other.
Meanwhile, a reliable source told e-Punch that Osupa has named Malaika, one of his arch-rivals, as suspect in last Sunday attack on him. Malaika?s manager told e-Punch during the week, ??The police have invited us to the state headquarters and we have made a statement. We were not even in the vicinity when it happened. I?m happy the association is fully involved in this. They?ve all been to the station and right now, it?s looking like a battle between Osupa and the Fuji musicians union.??
A source close to Osupa claims the musician is bitter, not just because his car was battered, but because a lump sum (N1.5M) was stolen from the car.