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Avoid genocide, artiste tells Nigerians

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Ajisebutu

Amid the rising agitations seeking to redefine the Nigerian entity after 106 years of amalgamation and 60 years of independence, the U.S.-based musician, social commentator, and peace activist, Prince Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu, has sued for peace in what appears the most volatile period in Nigeria’s history, urging the citizens to embrace love as the only virtue that can save Nigeria from implosion.

Ajisebutu is the founder and president of MansMark Records, an entertainment outfit in Los Angeles, California.

Since his arrival in the United States, Manuel has continued his passions with new music and activism, spreading his melodies and motivational messages through troubled youth homes and women’s prisons in the San Francisco Bay Area, along with playing a significant role in several human rights campaigns.

His first album, Love Candidate, with his then stage name, Ayo Manuel, was released on his label in 1983 at the height of the Second Republic in Nigeria.

The album voiced his intention to run for office as the Love Candidate (a political statement) and received extensive airplay on radio and television.

Ajisebutu released his second album, Party Zone, in 1991 and was distributed by Polygram-Nigeria. His album, Put on a Smiling Face, was released in 1996 and was met with high praise from fans and peers. As a peace activist, he writes and produces a hybrid-style of music that blends traditional African dance rhythms and Nigerian juju tunes with Western and Caribbean sounds.

In 1995, he organised several rallies to save the Nigerian human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 from being killed by General Abacha. He later joined forces with comrade Tunde Okorodudu and other Nigerians in Oakland and San Francisco area to form Free Nigeria Movement.

Their activities received the support of organizations such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and Rainforest Action Network. He was also the producer and presenter of Voice of Free Nigeria, a weekly radio show that urged Nigerians to take charge of their destiny. The radio was used to protest the annulment of the election of June 12, unjust imprisonment of oppositions, and other atrocities committed by the junta regime of General Abacha.

His history of activism and the constant call for love, peace, and unity date back to the 80s, and are reflected in his songs, like Save Nigeria (1991), Africans Unite (1991) and soon to be released Make a Change.

Ajisebutu’s concern stems from the alarming rate of separatist agendas by the different ethnic groups in Nigeria; the most recent being the call for Oduduwa Republic among the Yoruba people of Southwest. Before now, there have been similar agitations in virtually every area of Nigeria, as the call for Biafra Republic in the South-East, Arewa Republic in the North, and the Niger Delta Republic in the South-South.

What appears to be the only consideration for the unity of Nigeria as a federation, are pockets of other agitations for restructuring through a sovereign national conference, referendum, or resource control.

With the ongoing political tension in the country, Ajisebutu brings his peace activism to bear, urging his native countrymen to eschew lawlessness in order to not plunge the country into chaos.

“Imagine how millions of lives could have been saved in Rwanda and Burundi if the world stood up at the beginning of the genocide that ravaged the two countries,” he says, adding that his “mission is to inspire people globally to behave royally and do everything with love for the greater good of humanity.” He believes we are all connected and we must burry all divisive ideologies in order to experience total peace and prosperity during our short stay here on earth.


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