Why Nigerians blast Gov. Wike for gifting Burna Boy, other artists N10 million each despite owing teachers’ salaries (Pictures)

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike on Saturday doled out a whooping sum of N10 million to Grammy Award-winning Afrobeat artiste, Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy alongside other musicians.

Each artiste got the said amount just for performing at a homecoming party in Port Harcourt organised in Burna Boy’s honour by the Rivers State Government.

During the closing moments of the event, Wike said: “Those of you who have come to play, whatever you have agreed with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is not my business.

“All of you that have come today and the Niger Delta people that have come to play today to show the talent you have, I’m very proud of you. All of you will go home with N10 million each,” he added while the audience cheered him.

Burna Boy won the Grammy Award for ‘Best Global Music Album’ with his 2020 project “Twice as Tall”, at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards held on Sunday, March 14, 2021.

READ ALSO: All about Burna Boy, Wizkid’s big win at 2021 Grammy Awards

The Governor described the Grammy Award winner who is of Rivers descent as the pride of the state when Burna Boy, his parents and management team paid him a courtesy call at the Government House, Port Harcourt.

Burna Boy, parents and management team in Government House, Port Harcourt for a courtesy visit to Governor Wike.
Burna Boy, parents and management team in Government House, Port Harcourt for a courtesy visit to Governor Wike.

The Governor said the state is proud of the artist for the rare distinction of becoming a winner of the prestigious Grammy Award.

“There is no Rivers person that will say he or she is not happy with the kind of pride you’ve brought us. I am very happy and I can tell you, whatever you think we can do to promote you, we will continue to do it,” he said.

Governor Wike congratulated the singer for the honour he has done to the people of the state all over the world, noting that when the news broke that Burna Boy was the winner in the Best Global Music Album category with his “Twice As Tall album”, the entire state was elated.

“You’ve done us proud and we owe you a duty to show you, love. Wherever you are, your people appreciate you,” Wike said.

The Governor urged Burna Boy not to relent in his musical endeavour as the state government will continue to give him all the necessary support he requires.

Earlier, Burna Boy said he was deeply grateful and incredibly humbled by the reception by the government.

“I really appreciate being here. This is probably the biggest honour that will be bestowed on me since I was born. It is one thing to win the Grammy and to be applauded everywhere else in the world and another thing to be loved in your own home and that to me is worth more than anything I can get. So, I appreciate you my governor for taking your time out to do this.”

Meanwhile, the development didn’t go down well with some Nigerians who didn’t hesitate to express their anger via Twitter over the Governor’s decision.

They questioned the fact that while teachers in the state are still protesting unpaid salaries, Wike is busy lavishing money and neglecting trivial issues to be solved.

Some users, however, defended the Governor’s gesture, arguing that there was nothing wrong with him celebrating excellence.

“Few weeks ago, some teachers protested for lack of salary in Port Harcourt, Wike that couldn’t answer them gave N10m to Burna & other artistes. When you see the way those artists reacted to the N10m, it’s obvious that many are complaining about politicians because they’re not getting their own cut,” a user wrote.

“This impulsive and crass misappropriation of Rivers state funds by Wike. Donations like this made Peter Odili then earn the sobriquet, “Donatus”. As for Burna, ‘Monsters You Made’ was a product of your creative ingenuity, not of patriotism and that’s hypocritical,” another user wrote.

Here’s what others had to say:

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