#FreeTemsAndOmahLay: Govt Officials Doing ‘Everything Possible’ To Get Singers Released
Government officials say “everything possible” is being done to ensure the release of two musicians, Omah Lay and Tems, being held by the police in Uganda.
The Ugandan authorities say the singers, their manager, and four others had risked the spread of COVID-19 by holding a concert on Saturday in Kampala.
They were charged on Monday for “negligently doing acts likely to spread an infectious disease” and police say they will be detained until Wednesday when they are expected to be re-arraigned in court.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, tweeted that the government was engaging with the Ugandan authorities at the highest level, while the head of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, tweeted that “tremendous diplomatic progress has been made and they will be back [very very ] soon by Gods grace.”
Thank you. Tremendous diplomatic progress has been made and they will be back v v soon by Gods grace . https://t.co/wMRzQeBraP
— Abike Dabiri-Erewa (@abikedabiri) December 15, 2020
Dabiri-Erewa also replied to one of the detained singer’s tweet asking why he is being held by the police, she replied, “Everything possible is being done to get you out”.
Music star Bobi Wine has expressed support for the musicians, tweeting that there was “absolutely no reason why our brothers should still be detained yet their concert was under police watch”.
There is no rule of law in Uganda. This country runs on orders from a small circle of oppressors who dispense orders that are implemented without question. There's absolutely no reason why our brothers should still be detained yet their concert was under police watch #FreeOmahLay https://t.co/4AjP1hTuMj
— BOBI WINE (@HEBobiwine) December 15, 2020
Nigerian fans and colleagues have tweeted in support of the singers, but Ugandan police have insisted that the laws of their country must be obeyed.
Meanwhile, Tems has refused to eat anything while still in police custody in Uganda and has insisted she will remain without food until she is released.
"What if I want to die?"
Tems is on hunger strike, she hasn't eaten for the past 48 hours.
— Veinzell🌍🌹 (@iveinzell) December 14, 2020
Na Police provide security for event, na still police come arrest Artists for the same event… Tooh!!
— DeboMacaroni (@mrmacaronii) December 14, 2020
Its a total shame that Nigerian artists Omah Lay and Tems who flew into Uganda LEGALLY for a publicly announced event are being hounded and embarrassed in such a manner.#FreeOmahLay #FreeTems @GovUganda @abikedabiri
— Runtown (@iRuntown) December 14, 2020
#FreeTemsAndOmahLay This is totally unacceptable. They are not the organizers of the said event. 🤦🏽♂️ 💔
— ITS DON JAZZY AGAIN (@DONJAZZY) December 15, 2020
— Fireboy DML (@fireboydml) December 14, 2020