Seun Kuti, the son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, recently discussed his relationship with Nigeria’s new president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in an interview with Chude Jideonwo.
According to Seun Kuti, Tinubu is not only a political mentor to him but also played a vital role in the fight for democracy in Nigeria.
He highlighted Tinubu’s involvement with the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), an organization that fought for democracy after the military nullified Chief MKO Abiola’s presumed victory in the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Seun Kuti stressed that he considers Tinubu his uncle and has a close bond with him, with Tinubu serving as a mentor during his younger years.
Despite acknowledging that Tinubu has not been performing well as president of Nigeria thus far, Seun Kuti emphasized his unwavering respect for him.
“My relationship with President Tinubu on a personal level is very robust. I grew up knowing him as an uncle. He was a very good friend of uncle Beko [Kuti]. He was a political mentor to me growing up as a child.
“Many of the ideas that I understand today, it was these men that taught me as a child growing up. Knowing them fighting for democracy in this country with NADECO, even when he [Tinubu] went on exile… Wale Soyinka, uncle Beko, Asiwaju, these were the men who fought for our democracy.
During Tinubu’s first term as Governor of Lagos State, I performed at all his rallies. I’ve always been close to him personally. But I don’t have any political relationship with him. And even at that, I don’t think it’s anybody’s business. I’ve not been to his house in years except when I need to see him for national issues.
“So, these things that people say are just to tarnish your image. They make it seem like everybody must be paid for what they’re saying. No, no, no. What’s the truth is the truth. And I say it regardless of fear or favour of anybody.”