-He was a good, supportive son until he signed up for Marlian Records, marriage
-I was outside General Hospital with his corpse till morning next day
As efforts to unravel the death of the music act, Ilerioluwa Promise Aloba, ‘Mohbad’, whose demise has been generating reactions globally with wide protests calling for probe into the circumstances surrounding it, are in full swing, his father has recalled the memory of his son, while growing up and what he knows about his last moment.
An inquest into his death will begin at the Magistrate Court 3, Candide-Johnson Courthouse, Ita-Elewa, Ikorodu, on Friday (today).
After several attempts, THE IMPACT eventual had audience with the distraught father of Mohbad, who died at 27, with his songs topping global music charts due to the massive support and protests his death has generated all over the world.
In this encounter, Mr Aloba Joseph Oluwabamire, who came from the Edemo Compound, Ikere – Ekiti, Ikere Local Government, Ekiti State, but who has lived his life in different parts of Lagos State, before finally settling down in Ikorodu, described his son as a good and supportive boy who changed after signing with the Marlian Records and got engaged with his wife.
Mohbad’s father also dispeled rumor that he rushed to buried his son, stating how he was denied the police report at Lekki and how he stayed with his son’s corpse outside the General Hospital, Ikorodu, when the hospital refused to accept his corpse into their morgue since he was unable to produce a police and medical reports.
Mr Aloba, who himself is a music teacher and a musician, also recalled how his professions and vocation: Music and Carpentry, influenced the late singer due to their closeness.
“I am a carpenter/furniture maker and my music talent is from God. Mohbad, during his lifetime told a white man that interviewed him that he was born with a hammer in his hand, and this has been his statement to many others. He actually meant that he was born into a carpentry family”, Mohbad’s father said.
“In fact, he attended private schools through his primary and secondary education. He was born at Alafia Street, Shasha, Egbeda, Akowonjo. He attended Upper Hand Nursery & Primary School, Shasha. He was also at Topfab School, Aboru, Iyana Ipaja, and later Starri Schools, Aboru, for his secondary school.
“When we moved to Oke – Eletu, he attended Uncle Shode Schools, Oke – Eletu, and also another school at Odogunyan, Ikorodu, which I cannot recall. It was at the school that he wrote his WAEC.
“He never denied his background. He always said that he was born as a carpenter. He was very useful to me while growing up and always willing to go to work with me.
“We always sing whenever we are working as carpenters, and Mohbad is always my backup singer. He does this too at home whenever I sing.
“He was actually backing my music when he was one-year-old. Anytime that I sing, Mohbad would chorus it and he was good at that”, Mr Aloba revealed.
“I am always the Choirmaster at any Church that I attended, but I was not allowed to bring him into the Choir by the Church, because he was very small, but he was interested in singing”, he said.
Reluctantly, Mr Aloba spoke about his relationship with Mohbad’s mother, stating that his late son tried everything to make him remarry her.
“That’s my family affair and I don’t want to talk about it. Mohbad had said it all in his record, ‘Sorry’, and there is little to say again”, he said.
“Well, she left me when Mohbad and his siblings were little, and I have been taking care of them since then, but since about three years, Mohbad has been asking me to remarry her, because he didn’t like the way his friends were talking about the separation.
“He bought me the pickup van outside as part of his efforts to make me remarry his mother”, Mr Aloba said.
Describing his son as a good child, caring and supportive person, Mr Aloba added that he changed after signing up for the Marlian Records and engaged with his wife.
“Mohbad was a good and supportive son until his engagement with his wife. That was when the separation and distance started”, he said.
“Also, the situation got worsened with the Marlian Records, because his boss prevented them from going out anyhow. He said that Naira Marley warned them against going out the way they pleased.
“But he always called when there is any issue. For instance, when his boss disregarded his input into any of his songs’ production. His label did not believe in KPK. It was Rexson that believed in it and did everything to release the song.
“He did not enjoy his life with Naira Marley. His life was controlled and never enjoy his life”, he added.
Mohbad’s dad, while recalling when the late singer started following him to shows, said that he started playing drum and fell in love with music at a very tender age.
“At a time when we were doing the carpentry work for a Redeemed Church, and seeing that he was talented and interested in music, I promised to buy him ‘Gangan’ (talking drum) and after the project, I bought one for him and he learnt how to beat the drum within three days. He knows about beats.
“Since then, he started following me to shows, and served as backup singer, drummer and dancer at various times. These he could do conveniently.
“This is when he started going to the studio to record his songs, but I never thought that he could make it this big, but he had great talent and love for music”, Mr Aloba said.
Speaking on the song that late Mohbad declared as his best song, ‘Sorry’, which is more a less a tribute to his father’s love, Mr Aloba, who was showed uneasiness, recalled that his son endured sufferings and he made his name out of his travails.
He also narrated how Mohbad went to the Esa Oke Polytechnic, and how he fended for himself and became popular through music.
“I had to get money from LAPO (Microfinance bank) when he entered Esa Oke Polytechnic, but due to our status, he was always without food at school. There was no money to assist him with, and he was always hungry”, Mohbad dad’s recalled in a sober mood.
“He told me that the situation changed when he sang on campus and suddenly, students started liking him and bringing him food. This development actually encouraged him that he can do something good with music”, he said.
Explaining how he got to know about Mohbad’s death and also disputing that he rushed to bury him according to some people on the social media, Mr Aloba narrated how he was with his late son’s corpse from the day of his death through the night and till the next morning trying to get a police report to be able to admit him into a morgue.
Mr Aloba, who said that people wrongly condemned him for his son’s burial without understanding the circumstances surrounding his death, said that he left the buying of casket, burial attire and general planning of his sons’ burial in the hands of his friends and brothers, because as an African man, it is against his custom to bury his son.
“People are not patient enough to hear my side of the whole issue. They just went all out to condemn me and alleged that I buried my son too quick. Who would be happy to lose a son?”, he asked rhetorically.
“I was actually called around 3.30pm/4.00pm on that fateful day that my son is dead, and that I should be coming. I left my place and got to Osapa London. Around 7.00pm when I got to the place and while at the bus stop, I was called not to bother coming again.
“It was Darocha that called me. He called back again that I should not bother coming that he was okay. But at that point, I knew that all was not well, and I decided to go to his house.
“When I got there around 9pm, I met about 100 people there. I went there with his mum. His nose, ears and mouth were already covered with wool and salt placed on his chest”, Mr Aloba said.
“At his house were Zlatan, Davido representative, Mohbad’s lawyer, Ayar and Mohbad’s wife and about 100 other people that I cannot start recalling their names or know.
“It was at the place that Davido’s representative said that his boss has sent N2milion for his burial, and I asked that the money should be collected by Darocha. An ambulance was called online to convey him to Ikorodu.
“When the ambulance arrived with a doctor, the corpse was tested and he was confirmed dead. Thereafter, we went to a police station close to Eleganza, to get a police report. We were delayed till 3.00am, before we were told that we ought to have brought a doctor’s report. They did not issue us with any report and at that point, we left the station and headed for Ikorodu.
“We got to Ikorodu around 4.00am, but on getting to the General Hospital, Ikorodu, with the ambulance carrying his remains, we intended depositing him in the mortuary, but they did not accept his body, because we were unable to produce medical and police reports which they demanded”, he explained.
“lt was not true that I rushed to buried my son. I am a Yoruba and an African man. I cannot participate in burying my son. Who would be happy to lose his son, in his lifetime? I left that arrangement to his friends and brothers.
“I cannot determine the casket or cloth or anything about his burial as a father. It is against our custom and tradition”, Mr Aloba explained.
Mr Aloba, whose mood further changed when he recalled his time with Mohbad’s body outside the hospital, said that he later left the remains of his son with Darocha, and went about contacting people.
“Since our contract with the ambulance was to convey him to the General Hospital, Ikorodu, we had to let the ambulance go, while we chartered a car in which we placed his corpse while we stayed with him till day break”, he said.
“He was inside the car, and I had to ask Darocha to stay with him, while I went around to make necessary contact”, he further stated.
While stating that he is in full support of the government’s probe of the circumstances surrounding his son’s death, Mohbad’s father revealed that he has been invited by the Lagos State Command of the Nigerian Police.
“He is now the property of the government and the general public. There is little or nothing for me to do again. I am fully in support of the enquiry, and I am prepared to give any support”, he said.
“Well, of course, it is an opportunity for him to be giving befitting burial, and I ask for this in his honour. The government is now in position to determine everything about what happened next, but I am just asking for honourable burial for him” Mohbad’s father pleaded.
“Yes, I have been invited to the State Command at Ikeja, to explain all that I know about his death and I had explained all that were opened to me. The invitation is normal because of the circumstances surrounding his death”, he revealed.
Mr Aloba, who said that he has never experienced the uproar that his son’s death generated in his life, thanked Mohbad’s fans, Nigerians and people throughout the world that were touched by his son’s songs and death, for the outpouring of love.
“I have never experienced the outpouring of such support and concern that people in Nigeria and around the world have shown following his death. I can’t believe that he was such a force”, he said.
“I thanked the government, his fans and people generally.
“He is no longer my son, but the property of the government and son of the world. I pray that anyone do not experience such tragic lost”.
“I also want to thank Hon. Babajimi Benson for his efforts and intervention in the House of Representatives, on Mohbad”, he said.
“I believe that God is working through Hon. Benson and other people in preserving Mohbad’s memory. Through his and other interventions, we will get justice for his death.
“I thank him so much”, he added.
When asked how he has been coping with his son’s death, Mr Aloba described it as terrible and shocking.
“It has been a very terrible experience. I have never experienced such shocking experience in my life”, Mr Aloba said.
“He (Mohbad) always makes me happy whenever he sings. So, it has been difficult to accept his death”, Mr Aloba said.