Home Community Insights Policing Deviant Musicians in Nigeria

Policing Deviant Musicians in Nigeria

Policing Deviant Musicians in Nigeria

In any media system, music is a component that is essential for the full creation of media products, particularly when those products are meant to enliven people through rhymes that deal with a variety of psychological issues and unite them despite cultural and linguistic differences. When this strategy is used, one can say that music nourishes love and sustains the required social cohesion. However, one could say that music turns into a destructive tool in the hands of those who are expected to uphold the norms when the artistes create content and act in ways that are in opposition to the accepted and existing norms.

This position has already been captured in the previous two pieces by our analyst with the examination of what Nigerians have been saying on digital platforms about Seun Kuti’s police assault. As stated in one of the pieces, Nigerians used the incident to reenact similar discourses they expressed some months ago when Habeeb Olawunmi, popularly known as Portable or Dr Zeh, harassed police officers at his clubhouse. Clearly, the majority of people on digital platforms and those who spoke with mainstream media outlets called out the two musicians, labelling them as deviants and disrespectful.

As the conversations continue, our analyst discovers that different moral panics are being created by moral entrepreneurs. One of the moral panics observed in several tweets is the idea that Seun Kuti is a danger to society because of his supposed disrespect for law enforcement. This is evident in tweets such as “Seun Kuti is a menace to society; he has no respect for law and order” and “Seun Kuti should be ashamed of himself for slapping a police officer; this is unacceptable behaviour.” The focus is on Seun Kuti’s actions as a threat to society rather than the actions of the police officer.

Tekedia Mini-MBA edition 14 has started; join today before we close registrations.

Tekedia AI in Business Masterclass opens registrations here.

Join Tekedia Capital Syndicate and invest in Africa’s finest startups here.

Similarly, in relation to Portable’s police assault, there is also a moral panic that focuses on the supposed threat he poses to society. This is evident in tweets such as “Portable is a menace to society; he has no respect for authority” and “Portable’s behaviour is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.” Specifically, both Seun Kuti’s and Portable’s actions are being framed as deviant and threatening to society, which is leading to the creation of moral panics by the users. However, it is essential to consider the larger social and political context in which these incidents occurred and question the power dynamics at play between law enforcement and citizens.

A Framework for Policing the deviant musicians

Community Policing: The police should work closely with the communities where musicians live and work to identify and prevent deviant behaviour. This will involve building relationships with community leaders, educating them on what to look out for, and working together to address issues as they arise.

Regular Training: The police should receive regular training on how to deal with musicians and other members of the creative industry. This will include training on cultural sensitivity, de-escalation techniques, and the appropriate use of force.

Accountability: Police officers who violate the rights of musicians should be held accountable for their actions. This will involve a system for investigating complaints, and appropriate disciplinary measures for officers found to have acted improperly.

Collaboration: The police should collaborate with other government agencies, such as the National Council for Arts and Culture, to create guidelines for the conduct of musicians. These guidelines should be reviewed periodically and updated as necessary.

Rehabilitation: Finally, the police should work with musicians who have been found to have engaged in deviant behaviour to rehabilitate them. This will involve counselling, mentorship, and other forms of support to help them reintegrate into society and become positive role models for others.

No posts to display

Post Comment

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here