Posted by By Shaibu Husseini and Erhumu Bayagbon on
HE is twice lucky. After surviving an auto crash three years ago in Lagos, hip hop sensation, Innocent Tu Face Idibia is now confined to a sick bed at Cedar Hospital, Festac Town, Lagos.
HE is twice lucky. After surviving an auto crash three years ago in Lagos, hip hop sensation, Innocent Tu Face Idibia is now confined to a sick bed at Cedar Hospital, Festac Town, Lagos. He was, two days ago, robbed and injured by seven armed men who besieged his residence in Festac Town.
But Tu Face, as he is popularly referred to, is not the only victim of the fierce operation that lasted for two hours. His sibling, Hyacinth Idibia and Agon John, AJ, both of the Natives, a hip hop group, were also badly hit. Other victims include Hyacinth's friend who was axed in the head and arm as well as a cousin who received a terrible blow on the shoulder. They are all, at present, receiving treatment.
When The Guardian visited Cedar Hospital yesterday, Tu face was pale and very weak. He could hardly speak. He only managed a smile and an almost inaudible: "My broda, welcome, how you dey?." The young, talented artiste sustained an injury on the neck. He could not turn in any direction. A big, brown plaster covered his neck, leaving only a sad, forlorn face. Dressed in a blue jean and a white, sleeveless vest, he also had a plaster covering an ample portion of his right hand.
A lean group of sympathisers were by his bed side; their heads were bowed and they appeared somewhat defeated. Opposite the handsome, former member of the Plantashun Boiz was AJ who collaborated with Tu Face on the party jam, Catch the Vibe.... He was sleeping, lazily, on the bed with legs wide apart. He had something like a brown plaster on his shoulder; his dread-lock was still attractive despite his state.
The hospital was crowded with all kinds of sympathisers. But only a few had access to the ward where Tu Face was kept. The rest formed small groups discussing in hushed tones.
The only person who did not sustain any terrible injury was Hyacinth. Sitting in the lobby of the hospital, he was busy, on phone, calming his mum. His message was simple: "Mum, though it was serious, everything is under control, Tu Face will be fine..." he said with a smile.
After the conversation, he cast a glance at Joyce Ize-Iyamu, Tu Face's manager and said: "I no say mummy no go gree; she must still come hospital."
Hyacinth Idibia narrated their ordeal: "I was watching a movie around 11.pm and I fell asleep. Later, something woke me up. I heard a big bang downstairs and I woke up. But I didn't take it seriously. When I heard it again, I woke up and I saw one Aboki (security guard) looking guy patrolling. All of a sudden, they became two. I quickly woke up my cousin and told him something is happening. So, we started watching them for about 10 minutes. Then, suddenly, one of our neighbours ran out of his apartment and started shouting. So, I woke everybody- my elder brother, one of my cousins, my friend that came to visit and Tu Face. At that point, we started making phone calls. We even called the police. I also called one of my friends in Apapa as well.
"As we were making calls, that was how the armed robbers burst through the window. They shattered the burglary proof with hammer and everything they had on them. Then, I just went to the ground. They now started asking for money. They were not even speaking English very well. They looked like abokis (people of Hausa origin). I saw some of them. But before we could respond, they just started hitting us. My friend that came on a visit, they gave him a cutlass cut in the head. His condition is serious. Tu Face was saying "make una cool down, we go give una money...." That was how they use one big plank to hit him on the neck. His neck snapped, immediately. They gave the other guy hammer on his chest and they used knife to slice my elder brother's hand."
Sources say that a distress call was pulled to the police just after the robbers had gained entrance into the neighbourhood, the police as The Guardian learnt did not arrive the scene of the incidence till about 9am on Wednesday. A fellow who operates a pay call centre adjacent the scene of the incidence say that the police had complained of "lack of fuel in their patrol vehicles" hence their inability to respond as soon as they got the distress call from some members of the neighbourhood.
Asked if he can quantify the loss, he said: "On my part, I did not lose much. I had like a thousand naira plus. My friends lost more: one had 100 dollars; the other, 600 dollars; but Tu Face had plenty of money because they just brought him money yesterday. They even asked who own that big car downstairs, we said the person travelled. When they entered Tu Face's room, they said this must be the master bedroom. They spent enough time searching the whole of that room; they were there for about 30 minutes. They had a field day."
According to the doctor of Cedar hospital, Dr. Oyenmwense Aibuedefe, "Tu Face suffered no case of bleeding. But he is not able to move his neck. He was hit on the neck and he is in serious pain when they brought him. I had to stabilise his neck with a splint and set up a line. His pulse rate is presently okay. In short, his cardiovascular system is intact. Presently, we are about to do a cervical X-Ray to know if there is any fracture or if there is any cervical disc slip. But everything is under control here."
Mr. Kenny Ogungbe, chief executive officer of Kennis Music, the singer's music label owner, condemned the attack describing the incident as "sad". "It shows the degree of insecurity in the country. The situation is pathetic that a star like Tu Face would be attacked. What is this world turning into?" He queried.
Kenny who could hardly complete a sentence as he excused himself on a number of occasion to answer calls that streamed in, in response to the news of the attack explained the attack from what he gathered was an attack on the neighbourhood and cannot be said to have been directed at the artiste. "It was a raid, because it was not just their apartment alone. It was the entire neighbourhood and they were there for about an hour. I believe it was a general raid and not directed at them alone", Kenny said while again excusing himself to answer a call. The call had come from South Africa, from one of the presenters of the pay television channel, Channel O. "The caller is Kabele. He just called in from South Africa to know how Tu Face is fairing", Kenny said even as he called on the teeming fans of the artiste that is till date adjudged the Best Selling Pop Music Artiste in Nigeria, to join in the prayers for a speedy recovery for the singer and his siblings.
"This is the closest hospital we can rush them to. We just hope they are able to take care of him here. We just pray it doesn't happen to anyone. I was almost in tears when I first saw Tu Face and his brothers this morning. I mean now he is stable. Anybody that saw him when he was rushed here would just cry. This is very sad. But we are going to do our best to make sure that he recovers as quickly as possible. We just pray that the injuries he sustained and that of his brothers' heal fast. We just pray for his quick recovery. But definitely this will keep him only off the microphone for a while but it is not going to stop the beat for Tu Face who is doing fantastically well, career wise. We at Kennis are prepared to do all we can possibly do to get him on the road soon again. We just ask Nigerians to join us just as his fans abroad have started doing, in praying for his speedy recovery".
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