Last week, a scion of legendary musician, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Femi, took to social media to announce that one of his band boys, Aghedo Andrew, absconded from the band in the US 20 minutes before a show in their ongoing US tour.
Shortly after Femi called out Aghedo, a former member of his Positive Force band, Solomon Idowu, asserted that Femi usually did not pay his band members well and that he often slept with underage girls.
However, in an exclusive chat with Newsmen, Femi stated that Solomon was speaking from a position of hatred. He said, “From his tone, don’t you perceive envy and hatred? He insulted me and abused my family. Shouldn’t you ask why this is coming from him and not female members (of the band)? I think you should ask when he left the band and why. And if you find this out, you should also ask why it took him this long to speak out and why he has not taken court action if what he is saying is true. If he is telling the truth, why haven’t the parents of the said female dancers ever complained after over three decades in this business? I think your questions should be directed to him and not me. As a journalist, shouldn’t you even think that after three decades, only one musician is accusing me of owing him or whatever? Then you have to investigate how many musicians and dancers have passed through my organisation? From those who I set the band up with till now, there has been no such news. By the way, Positive Force was set up in 1986. I have never owed anyone and will never owe. You say I owe you money, then you call my wives prostitutes. Did he pay them money to sleep with them?”
Maintaining that Aghedo’s disappearance will not affect the way he runs his band, the Beng Beng Beng singer said, “I cannot and will not change and be oppressive in my dealings because of this. We are all grown-ups and it’s important to respect that. I love the way I operate, which is with respect for everyone and professionalism. Some people even said it was wrong for me to publicly shame him. Please is that the point? Those people must be as bad as him. He left me on one of the biggest gigs of the tour with no notice. Didn’t he publicly shame me and nearly destroyed my career? Was I supposed to stand and cry that my bassist ran away? Or cancel the show? Who would pay for the damages and cost that has gone into producing the show and tour? Where is sympathy for the truth? I’m in the middle of a hectic tour and my focus is to finish it well. We have adjusted and are focused on working together as a band should. Meanwhile, the reception we have got during the tour has been greatly fantastic.”