Nigerian musician Seun Kuti has announced the revival of his father’s political party, the Movement of the People. The youngest son of Afrobeat legend Fela Kuti said the party was established in opposition to the country’s elites.
In a small conference broadcast live on social media, Kuti explained that the Movement of the People (MOP) was a coalition of socialist, progressive organizations. Representatives of the factions also spoke at the meeting.
“The idea is that we liberate the Nigerian people, they might be on this table, but I want to guarantee you that this movement will be the movement to cultivate those minds, those ideas. The pan Africanist and socialist foundation,” Kuti said.
“The movement cannot survive without the Nigerian professionals and the middle class. We have to do the work now to begin to engage those of us in society that have been completely left behind and that have been overlooked.”
Kuti claimed on Monday that the police threatened to close his family’s nightclub, The New Afrika Shrine, if he held a meeting of his movement there.
In a tweet on Monday, the musician wrote: “So yesterday the government called my eldest sister @yeniakuti and threatened to close the shrine if I hold my event there [tomorrow] and also sent a letter to back it up.
“I respect my family’s decision not to hold the event as is but I will still go ahead with all the other organizations to launch THE MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE tomorrow and start our political resistance to the tyranny of this oppressive regime.
“Why are they afraid of the people organizing? What is democratic about this act? The last time we tried to launch the government quickly called curfew and this time they have used threat but you can’t stop the will of the people,” Kuti wrote.
There were local media reports of a heavy police presence around the venue on Tuesday morning. The original Movement of the People was set up by Fela in 1979. He intended to run for the presidency under its banner but was barred from taking part.