‘Why always Obi Cubana?’ The businessman has become a news staple. Every week Obi Cubana is in the news – but sometimes for controversial reasons. The light, including coyotes, now trail Cubana wherever he goes. ‘Why always Obi Cubana?’
Obinna Iyiegbu, better known as Obi Cubana, is not a spin-off of chance. His business roots are public knowledge in Abuja. From a modest but popular restaurant and bar in Garki, the business, which defined nightlife in Abuja in the early 2000s, mushroomed into more successful lifestyle brands.
Obi Cubana operated his businesses in the shadows until recently when he decided to step into the floodlights of the paparazzi and social media carpers. Although popular in the entertainment circle, the famous burial ceremony of his mother in July 2021 reputed to be the biggest funeral in Nigeria’s recent history thrust him into national consciousness.
It has been a gallop from one controversy to another ever since. The recent controversy is over a photograph of him with Abba Kyari, deputy commissioner of police, who was suspended for an alleged link to Hushpuppi, the self-confessed fraudster. Without obviating the essence of optics, Obi Cubana is a celebrity, so, naturally he is a magnate of attention. People will always want to take pictures with him. It is only natural.
Also, Obi Cubana is not a public officer. He was neither elected nor appointed to any government office. He is a citizen who happens to be successful in business. He has rights, like all of us, to association and personal liberty, and he is entitled to live freely without hassles.
‘Why always Obi Cubana?’
Young Nigerians need role models. At a time when the national moral tapestry is in tatters and the youth taken up in vanity, ritual killings and financial fraud, Nigeria needs lodestars; people with verifiable means of income; people who have gone through the mills to become successful – not overnight successes — and people who are renowned for industry, hard work, and charity.
Fine examples like Obi Cubana abound. But we live in a society that eats its own. Enterprising young men who should be held up as specimens of the true Nigerian dream are maligned, hounded and pulled down.
At a time like this – when there are secessionist agitations and strain on the national unity, men like Obi Cubana who embody the Nigerian resilience and communality should be deployed as a rallying point for the youth.
A society that eats its finest seeds cannot fulfil its purpose and thrive beyond the status quo.
By Fredrick Nwabufo; Nwabufo aka Mr OneNigeria is a writer and journalist.