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“Dem se” in Naija, is simply a rumour or an unsubstantiated remark/comment. The flip side of it is “no bi se dem se”; an emphasis of any issue, remark/comment under reference stressing that one is cocksure and it’s without any doubt whatsoever. For example, if one says one was at the last Star Mega Jam which held in Abuja, and rounded up by adding “no bi se dem se”, one would have succeeded in reaffirming one’s stand/position as far as the subject matter was concerned. I saw R-Kelly, Faze, Timaya and other Nigerian Artists live at the Abuja’s Old Parade Ground on the 18th December, 2010 Star Mega Jam show no bi dem se. This Mega Jam came in mega colours, shapes and forms. The “jams” or different musical numbers that blared from mega-sized speakers were as usual pleasing and comforting. The phenomenal crowd no doubt met the expectations of book makers who hinged their predictions on the huge turnout on the international Star Artist; R-Kelly. Although, it turned out an event to behold, our local artists actually helped in thrilling the crowd more than the one from America. At the end of the show, one was left wondering the essence behind the annual ritual of promoting American Artists. Having attended previous Mega Jams that held here in Abuja, this one came wit plenti plenti tins that contributed to the jam ops that characterized the event.

Wen mata don get plenti tins, it definitely deserves a review for a way forward. Of the plenti tins or fall outs of the event, the most painful was the loss of lives due to the stampede that broke out from the huge crowd of people who were not well-managed from the onset. Crowd management was the reason for the loss of lives at the last event. Simple logic should have informed the organizers of the show that they shouldn’t have sold tickets at the venue of such a big show. If they must do so, it shouldn’t have been so close to any of its designated entrances. While tickets were being sold and hawked few paces from the N500 “popular side” entrance, difren difren mago mago were openly going on. The unwholesome scenario created by this mega flaw, made it difficult to separate genuine ticket holders from numerous people who came with the intention of watching the show weda oo weda or bai faya, bai fos as we say these days.

From di plenti tins I saw with mai kro kro eyes at the event, some people may have deliberately created a situation where they could mek dia oun at the end of the day. While a gate was reserved VIP entrance, some unscrupulous gate minders were kodedli using it for the collection of all manner of kpaje or egunje from those who paid N500. The “popular entrance” was completely jammed up with sea of people including yours truly. The event had hardly started when tickets for N500 began to sell for N700. With the very long queue of people itching to get inside the venue, one had no option but to buy the N500 ticket for N700. If this was a problem, the real wahala was hau to enta. At a point, the gate was let open and people went haywire jamming won anoda into an open ground that leads to the main ground for the event.

The security measures that were put in place to check mate hozula dem was okay but the sales of tickets close to the entrance na im kos wahala fo evribodi. As I write these lines, my heart goes to the families of those that lost their loved ones as a result of the stampede. At the last count, not less than six people lost their precious lives while many are still receiving treatment in different hospitals from injuries sustained. The departed ones truly loved fun and expected to have it by watching R-Kelly, Timaya and others perform live… they died.

While someone said ivun sef plenti pipul los dia wrist watches, shoes etc, another shouted, na shoe wi de tok? Wetin bi shoe? But for the record, plenti tins los fo star mega jam show. So many people went home without their personal belongings. I was lucky not to have lost my key holder bearing my car keys etc. Consequently, I danced laik se tumoro no de only to learn thereafter that many lost their lives due to lack of proper management by the organizers of the event.As plenti tins de hapun, na so wi sopoz len plenti tins so as to avoid similar situations in future. Mr. Oribhabor is a promoter of Naija (Nigerian Pidgin) and resides in Abuja.

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