Many Nigerians have taken to social media to lambast Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers State, for gifting Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, and other artistes who performed at an event in Port Harcourt, the state capital, on Saturday, N10 million each.
The other artistes, including Timaya and Duncan Mighty, performed at the homecoming concert of Burna Boy, who recently won the Grammy’s award for the Best Global Music Album for his Twice As Tall album.
In a video circulating on Twitter, Governor Wike was heard saying that he was proud of all the artistes who performed for the Port Harcourt people, describing them as true ambassadors of the Niger Delta region.
The governor then said he was setting aside the payment agreed the artistes may have had with the state Ministry of Culture and Tourism and announced a gift of N10 million for each of the performers on the night.
He also awarded a land to Burna Boy in the Old Government Residential Area (GRA) of Port Harcourt.
Burna Boy has been gifted land in Old GRA, Port Harcourt and money to build by Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
Wike also promised to give each Artiste who performed at Burna's Homecoming Concert in Rivers State, Nigeria N10 million ($24,411) each. pic.twitter.com/tWwHIVWcoZ
— Africa Facts Zone (@AfricaFactsZone) March 28, 2021
However, the gift announcement has elicited varied reactions on Twitter, with many Nigerians criticising the governor for making such a huge donation to the artistes.
According to some of the commenters, Governor Wike should not have made such a donation considering that teachers of the state tertiary-owned secondary schools recently protested over five years of non-payment of salaries by the Rivers government.
Others insisted that the governor could have deployed the money into some viable projects or infrastructure needed by the citizens of the state.
See the reactions of some Nigerians below:
When they say Buhari is not working. This is what they mean. They miss the government of share the money which is why @burnaboy could not politely ask Wike to use that money to pay the five-year unpaid salaries of teachers in demonstration schools in Rivers State https://t.co/nwei06hpex
— Daddy D.O🇳🇬 (@DOlusegun) March 28, 2021
Very irresponsible from Wike! https://t.co/bbkN75SKvp
— Morris Monye💙 (@Morris_Monye) March 28, 2021
In Nigeria, Governors give artists, BBNaija & entertainers huge amount of money for doing nothing for them but vibes & go a long way to owe Govt staff for months.
The misplaced priorities in this country is ALARMING!!!
— POOJA… (@PoojaMedia) March 28, 2021
Lol Wike is owing workers five years salaries, but he's out here giving gifts to the Sokoto State Government and BurnaBoy, because it's Emperor Wike no outrage. Democracy is not in danger because it's not coming from a certain quarter pic.twitter.com/S5ID2zFcVY
— Commander in Chief, Oduduwa Republic🎖️ (@Joshibirogba) March 28, 2021
Is this him wasting taxpayer money and getting cheered, or is this going to be from his personal account?
Wike gets away with nearly everything all other governors get angrily criticized for. I wonder why it’s like that?? https://t.co/hVV2iH8K55
— Man of Letters. (@Letter_to_Jack) March 28, 2021
Lmao Burna boy will come on Twitter to drag politicians, he’ll call them looters and all but see the hypocrite hailing Wike after receiving N10M. Teachers are being owed 5 years salary in the same Rivers State o. pic.twitter.com/xgp7BHfIAI
— OTUNBA (@ManLikeIcey) March 28, 2021
When they say Nigerians deserve the leaders it gets, this is part of why they say that. Gov Wike is so confident and unashamed to be paying artistes from government funds and people are hailing him but turn round and also criticize corruption in the same breath? 🤡 https://t.co/9s7D29kmxr
— ✨👑 DaddyMØ👑✨✊🏾 (@therealdaddymo1) March 28, 2021
This is the reason why they can never like Buhari. Kudos to Emperor Wike for teaching Bubu how to spend taxpayers money DiLiGeNtLy.pic.twitter.com/Fnfo2sXlnI
— TallJohn🌍 (@JohnFanimokun) March 28, 2021
Burna Boy and the rest of the artistes will collect N10M each from Wike and celebrate it here. Next day they will tweet about lack of infrastructure and focus on Lagos State. Have they ever ask Wike about End SARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry?
— ADEMOLA (@RajiDraj) March 28, 2021
The impulse gifting by Governor Wike is so unnecessary for a state that has failed to pay gratuity & pension.
— Wale Adetona (@iSlimfit) March 28, 2021
Same Burna who put a blood stained flag as his avi..just watch that video and see his musical refrain when Wike said nobody can challenge him in Rivers state
Told y'all these guys are using your lives to play Nairabet the other day Bovi used Nig flag to revive his dying career
— Souljah (@jeffphilips1) March 28, 2021
It’s nice that Wike is giving out 10mil to artistes but my mother who worked for the state government for 35yrs retired with gratuity of app 9mil and has been told that the government can’t afford to pay them yet. But it’s okay he is giving 10mil to artistes.
— IjawRoyalty (@ijawroyalty) March 28, 2021
Wike gifting 10 million Naira to Burna boy who is already a millionaire is very wrong. Now safe me that defence that he could possibly do it from his personal pocket. Fuck it! We know our politicians. If at this stage we can't call black, black then we are deceiving ourselves.
— FS Yusuf (@FS_Yusuf_) March 28, 2021
Burna Boy made Rivers State proud winning a Grammy. No doubt..
But the impulsive N10m each for artists at his homecoming concert by Wike, who owes teachers' salaries, is a big insult.
Reminds me of emperors who threw parties for their sons while their labourers died of hunger.
— First Doctor (@firstdoctorr) March 28, 2021
However, some persons, including reality TV star Tacha, who is also from Rivers State, defended the action of Governor Wike and Burna Boy for receiving the gift.
Gov Wike did no wrong ! pic.twitter.com/bJmirozOr8
— TACHA🔱🇳🇬🇬🇭 (@Symply_Tacha) March 28, 2021
N521bn and $21bn just declared missing under Buhari. We have even lost count of how many billions of dollars have been collected under him but it’s Wike that has constructed more projects than the FG that is the problem because he gave artists N10m. This country is a scam.
— Comrade Deji Adeyanju (@adeyanjudeji) March 28, 2021
Burna Boy himself is a Giver. He has every right to receive gifts from his Governor. If Wike hasn’t paid civil servants in his state salaries, they should come out and say it.
God bless you Burna for all you do. We are super proud of you pic.twitter.com/BOnRyrkkXz
— Chlorpheniramine #EndSARS 🇳🇬 (@VictorIsrael_) March 28, 2021
Tacha said nothing but the truth.
Burna deserves more. If it was Wizkid that got that. You won't cry this much.
But of course it's Burna, His success drives you Mad.
Wike, abeg add One public holiday join, Burna Grammy Day ☺️ pic.twitter.com/RQS59ZbMme
— Daddy🔕 Tom 🔱|🦍🇳🇬 (@Iam_DaddyTom01) March 28, 2021
So because burna boy sings against bad governance, he should reject a gift from wike?
Abeg, Make una dey think before una talk atimes
— Samuel Mbah (@Mbahdeyforyou) March 28, 2021
Lmao you guys really want to force the 'freedom fighter' tag onto Burna Boy cos he samples Fela & sings about bad governance every now & then.
Sha channel your vex to Wike, leave Burna alone. Cos if na me Wike dash 10M & land worth 80M+, I go take am. No vex🙏
— UG (@UgwunnaEjikem) March 28, 2021
When FG gives cash gift to footballers, we don't criticise them, we hail govt, but Wike gives cash gift to artists in his state, the same people that hailed the FG, begins criticism and insults. It's better to give artists cash gift, than to give bandits.
Don't be a hypocrite!
— Emma ik Umeh (Tcee )🇳🇬 (@emmaikumeh) March 28, 2021