Nigerian Entertainer Charles Oputa aka Charlyboy, in an interview about his ‘‘Our Mumu Don Do’ protest calling for president Buhari to resume work or resign, revealed that those partaking in the protest are willing to die for Nigeria.
Read excerpts from his interview with Ademola Olonilua of Punch
On being sprayed by teargas during the resume or resign protest
You know you cannot make an omelette without breaking an egg. You cannot be in this kind of struggle and do not expect people to misunderstand you, twist your intentions and roughen you up a little. These are the kind of things that happen especially when you are fighting a good fight and that is what we are doing. I am used to being roughened.
On report by the police that he fell to the ground when he saw cameras around you
We have a government of lies and deceit; even the police lie. It was on the social media for everyone to see. They said they were trying to protect people against miscreants but who are these miscreants that 150 policemen could not contain and then they began to spray water cannon on just seven people? Because nobody paid us to come and talk about how we feel that is why our numbers are small. The few people that have embarked on this protest are those that are willing to die for what they believe in and this concerns Nigerians. Enough of all of this rubbish; the government lies, steals and cheats. It is an evil government. Although I have a few good people as friends who happen to be policemen but the truth is that the police is nobody’s friend especially the common people.
On celebrities not joining the movement despite his call
The bible says, many are called but few are chosen. If there are only two of us, we are going to keep insisting on the right thing. Don’t forget, I did not start this movement. It was some young Nigerians that started it and they roped me into it. My job as an Area Fada is to guide them because what was missing in the past which made people claim that the youths have gone to sleep is that they did not have the right leadership. I have come out to say that I would take a bullet on their behalf because I feel and believe that this country would only be saved by some exceptional youths. If you look at the trend, the youths in this country have really done Nigeria proud, especially when they are abroad. There are so many Nigerians in Harvard Business School, Nigerian doctors have helped to shape the American health care system; I can go on. So why is it that in our own country, the youths do not have any future? It is because the terrain is polluted and infected by all these criminals. I am happy that I am making that connection with some exceptional youths and I am proud to say that it is just a question of time. We are not looking for a crowd. Like I always say, the people holding Nigeria at its jugular, those who are responsible for the excruciating poverty Nigerians are going through are not up to 50. My own equation is that the people that would rescue this country may not be up to 20 despite the fact that they would try and kill some or throw tear gas at them.
On the protest making any impact
What we are doing is to force a discussion. We want Nigerians to think because the truth is that it is young people that rule the world now, the old people are just there to advise the young; and I am talking about old people with brain. The future belongs to the youth but in Nigeria, it is not so. Normally the government is meant to fear the masses but in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. The government is supposed to be afraid of us and they would soon begin to fear us because all these things that are happening in Nigeria must stop. We cannot have just a few people benefitting at the expense of the nation.
On plans to run for political office
I cannot run but I can find someone who is qualified to do the job. I am too old for that. I have been privileged to meet some wonderful people in this country and I know it is doable. I am not wired to run for office, what I am able to do is to fix things, inspire and motivate people. I am a teacher and that is who I am.