The popular Afro-Pop artist, whose real name is Innocent Idibia, called on Nigerians earlier this week to march on February 6 in protest of the government’s handling of the country’s economic crisis.
“Information reaching us revealed that some hoodlums are planning to hijack the peaceful protest. As such, we won’t allow it to hold in Lagos,” Lagos police commissioner Fatai Owoseni told AFP.
“We know that 2Face does not have the capacity to contain such a crowd and we will not fold our hands and watch while things go out of hand,” Owoseni said.
In a video posted on his Facebook account Tuesday, 2Face urged Nigerians to come out in a “peaceful and articulate manner” for the march.
“The need for urgent solutions to the challenges facing Nigerians has become very clear,” he said in the video.
“Things are not getting better for the majority, we are still where we are, poor and desperate. I will no longer be quiet.”
It’s unusual in Nigeria for a celebrity to take such a vocal political position.
But when 2Face floated the idea of a protest last month the idea quickly gained traction in a country frustrated by a galloping inflation rate and sluggish growth.
Nigeria’s fortunes fell with the collapse in the global price of oil, triggering a recession that has been aggravated by rebel attacks on oil infrastructure and controversial monetary policies, which have led to a debilitating shortage of dollars.