Nigerian entertainer, Obianuju Catherine Udeh, popularly known as DJ Switch has likened Nigerian military personnel to zombies.
She stated this while referencing Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s 1977 hit song, Zombie, in which the late singer describes Nigerian soldiers as mindless zombies who follow idiotic orders.
In her speech at the Oslo Freedom Forum, the entertainer said youths are ready to stand up to the oppressors (Nigerian leaders) who are afraid of youths and have failed to create an enabling environment for them to thrive and contribute.
She lambasted Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who she described as one of the country’s ‘oppressors’.
“As an artiste and a DJ, I listen to music a lot all the time and I am reminded of the legend — the artiste, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He was known for speaking truth to power with his music and I am reminded of his 1977 song titled, Zombie.
“Here, Fela likens the Nigerian military to mindless zombies following idiotic orders. It was relevant then, it is relevant today and it is most likely relevant tomorrow, in the future.
“The same future that they say is in the hands of the leaders of tomorrow, but what we have tomorrow are recycled leaders of today who have failed to provide an enabling environment for young leaders to thrive and contribute. But they chose, instead to kill us all off one by one.
“This might sound outrageous to you and you might wonder why; I will tell you. Our leaders are afraid; it is as simple as that. They are afraid of a thinking, innovative, and collaborative working Nigeria. They are afraid of every young Nigerian who, against all odds, have made it for themselves.
“They are afraid of a ‘me’; the coconut head generation as we like to call ourselves. We are hard-headed, we are not easily deceived by propaganda. We stand up to our oppressors, starting with the Nigerian Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.
“Yes, you heard me right. The Nigerian Minister for Information, our very own spin doctor, his first name is ‘Lie’. It is inevitable, right? The pun is begging me. ‘Lie’ called the shooting a fabrication of a massacre without bodies. He said I was a purveyor of fake news with an intent of tarnishing the nation’s image and I am a terrorist among other things.
“The Nigerian Army called the shooting fake and that I had made the whole thing up with a green screen. Yes, I have plans of going to Hollywood after this speech.”
DJ Switch gained prominence after doing a live video of the Lekki Toll Gate shooting last October.
At the time, many Nigerians took to the streets to demonstrate against police brutality under the #EndSARS campaign.
The protesters had called for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit notorious for extrajudicial killings, human rights abuses, and torture.
On October 20, 2020, the Nigerian military reportedly fired live rounds of bullets at the protesters which resulted in the death of some.
DJ Switch was later targeted by the Nigerian government, forcing her to flee the country.
Exactly one year ago, October 8, 2020, demonstrations started in major cities across Nigeria as youths protested against the death of a young man killed by the police in Delta State on October 3, 2020.
The widespread protest is what is now known as #EndSARS protests.